Open your mind!
Blowfish Studios presents Infinite Beyond The Mind. This run and gun style game is more of a run and slash but you get the idea. Two friends have special powers that grew along with their friendship and now are being sought out because of it. Choose your favoured heroine and run through levels or slash every enemy to pieces in this bit style game on Nintendo Switch.
For anyone that’s played video games, in general, feel free to skip the tutorial. The game’s controls are intuitive, fluid, and only improve in that regard with new attacks. For the beginning portion, you’re set with a slash, double jump, a dash, and wall scaling ability. Using the double jump slash combo you can get a feel for how fluid the controls are and it’s satisfying to simply jump around stages, let alone double slash enemies on the run. These mechanics are the basis for Infinite and everything else is the icing on the cake.
Bit style graphics are the chosen art style.
As with similar style games, it’s best shown with larger objects like buildings and helicopters. To complement this I turn to the background designs which are stunning. I’m always amazed at what I could describe as pixel art, and how intricate it can be. Cityscapes at dusk painted with orange tones will cause the player to take a pause to enjoy. Starting stages are more mechanical and somewhat dull in design. Just as with the controls, it keeps getting better.
Don’t be put off by all the grey colours and easier gameplay in the beginning as all will improve in time. Anyone eager for a challenge there is hard mode. I wouldn’t recommend starting on easy. There are no checkpoints so if you game over to a boss you will be restarted at the beginning of the area. Pretty big bummer when you’re stuck on a boss.
Infinite Beyond The Mind has secrets if you are willing.
Once I found a hidden collectable atop a building I opted to slide down many walls in a Mega Man X style in hopes of treasure. Can’t say I didn’t lose a few lives in the process. Life Up is one I find which I believe increases overall health but it was difficult to tell. Med packs are available as well as special items that call upon friends to pepper surrounding enemies. I’ve only used the special a couple of times but it looks great and causes great damage.
Although once I began Infinite, my goal was to defeat every enemy and hunt hidden enemies that appear once you run across their areas. I found myself growing bored with the repetition and just running through stages. This ended rather abruptly once the levels became littered with so many enemies it made it more difficult to simply pass them by. I’m glad the game made this change because it caused a reaction and forced me to engage in fighting the bad guys. Most could still be taken out with ease but others require some finesse. When you come across an enemy that shoots a lot of rounds it feels inevitable that you will get hit by one. The increase in difficulty calls for increased usage of the dash ability. An endurance bar for the dash will lower with each use and refills automatically, so it becomes a balancing act between groups of baddies.
Bad guys come in a variety of types and vehicles.
My favourite types included the heavy artillery baddie that shoots a barrage of bullets and the ‘invisible’ guy that shows an outline and eventually reappears. Side note, that invisible guy showed up notably in the stage that showcased a predator looking boss. I don’t think that was a coincidence. Vehicles that stuck out to me were the dark unmarked vans that skid to a stop before letting out some enemies, and the helicopters for their awesome looks alone.
After each handful of stages, you will be met with a boss battle. Riddle their health bar down bit by bit until you achieve victory. After completing seven stages the boss battles feel equal to the stages in that, they don’t carry more weight in-depth or fun. More often than not this is the case for most games but Infinite has a decent balance of both. My first and main goal is to just tank the boss and continue the slash ‘n slash until I win but it doesn’t hold up well with each progressing boss.
It’s a good change of pace being pushed to use strategy and patience during the fight and it’s cool how bosses may have minions or additional support in their attacks. As mentioned before the predator boss was cool but also turned out to be my favourite. I just loved that movie. Bosses have patterns they stick to and then change as their health goes down. As for me, I’m stuck at the level 8 boss. Maybe I’m not that good (I made it this far) but I keep thinking if the jump button was more responsive I would be dodging more hits. Nonetheless, I’m getting my butt handed to me time and time again.
Infinite was a pleasant title to make its way to Two Beard Gaming and it immediately caught my eye. The balance between the repetitive slash and run and strategic engagement with enemies was latent, as was the awesome graphics and difficulty. Nonetheless, I could recommend Infinite Beyond The Mind as a fun pick up and play game that holds a lot of potential for future games from this developer and publisher combo.
Review code provided
Platform: Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox
Release Date: 07/05/2020
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Action, Platformer, Arcade
Developer: Emilie COYO
Publisher: Blowfish Studios
Download link: eShop