Pretty quick overview on a 2021 official release game, it’s a 2D twinstick shooter where maps have 3D geometry and allow you to access different axis of the level, hence the name, curved space. There are some levels, like the mobius strip, that can be a bit disorienting if you are prone to motion sickness, as the camera speed and screen tilt can be a lot to take in. There seems to be some light story elements involving multiple dimension versions of yourself and branching paths in terms of the levels you choose. The current demo teases this structure, as it primarily serves as a tutorial expressing how you unlock your abilities for the full game.
Your objective is to destroy swarms of gigantic robotic insects of various shapes and sizes. There are some neat bosses and mini-bosses in this build that often take up half the screen and require you to loop around the map to outmaneuver them and take them out. Occasionally the camera can be a little unwieldy when lining up shots against mobile, jumpy enemies, but I think it’s just a matter of getting used to your momentum. You can check out the settings accordingly. I enjoyed the tools that the game introduced, the dash was relatively bog standard, but I enjoyed viewing how the overdrive mode interacts with different weapon types. The dash is on a short cooldown, but allows for quick maneuvers, while the overdrive is a special meter that fills as you play. Speaking of, you will start off with a basic weapon, but enemies can drop new weapons. You can hold up to two at once, and some weapons follow an ammo system before they automatically break.
I enjoy the frantic gameplay of exploring the landscape, taking what I can, and figuring out how it all works on the fly. There was a good variety to the weapons so far, and watching some of them bend around the geometry of the level, and just how much blowback they have, was pretty satisfying. The last upgrade, the lash, was a bit bittersweet at first. You access a straight ahead whip that allows you to latch onto enemies, and slowly extend your reach. Your mobility is very stifled unless you are able to string along targets with the whip. I enjoyed the minigame of corralling several enemies and dodging projectiles all the while, but sometimes it was difficult to follow what’s going on the screen after a while. I’d be interested how levels in the future might utilize this mechanic further, and I did enjoy being able to line up enemies for some of the more linear, bombastic weapon types.
All in all, I’m excited to see where Curved Space goes. Give it a shot, as I heard that accessing Discord can lead to a Public Beta key and additional content. I haven’t checked it out myself, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out.
Curved Space is being developed by Only By Midnight Ltd.
Demo can be found on Steam, with a pending release in 2021, and a Switch and Xbox version pending at some other date.