Hyper Parasite is an upcoming 80s themed, twin-stick shooter currently funding on Kickstarter. Visually it’s a unique arcade throwback, mixing 3D models with old fashioned 2D sprites. Hyper Parasite feels like a cross between The Warriors and The Ninja Turtles Arcade game,with some extra ultra-violence thrown in for good measure. By taking inspiration from both works from the 80s and those set there, it’s an anachronistic representation of the decade that taste forgot.
This unique aesthetic is fused with a fresh twist on a twin stick shooter. Rather than searching out weapons or power ups, you play as a parasite. You take over the bodies of the enemies in the game. Each of these comes with their own moves and power ups, making progressing through the game a body-hopping rush. It’s played top-down and combat focused, with some elements of a roguelike. The gameplay is innovative and fresh. The overall experience manages to be nostalgically charming in a way that’s bizarre for tapeworm themed hyper-violence.
The Hyper Parasite that you control has created enough alarm that the entire country has gone into martial law. All of the criminals, citizens, and police are working together to stop the outbreak of this disgusting creature. (You) You have to fight through everyone to stop the President from taking drastic action to destroy this menace. (Again, you’re the gross parasitic menace) The 80s themes soaks through all of the game, bringing with it a synth-wave soundtrack.
You are a Parasite
Hyper Parasite is hyper violent. You use each of the hosts powers and moves to beat up and destroy everything around you. Trashing everything. You also destroy each host’s body, leaving nothing untainted. It’s no surprise the world is gripped by alarmist paranoia over your existence. The playable demo gives a taste of the amount of destruction you can cause. The full game promises to step this up another level.
There are 60 different classes of enemies to possess. Along with procedurally generated levels, this should give enough variety for even the most devoted of players. The variety on offer through these two mechanics should give the game a great deal of re-playability. Boss fights also occur, giving a sense of progression rather than aimless carnage. This sort of progression is important in procedurally generated games. Too often they feel endless and repetitive. While the variations of each stage that can happen look like fun, Hyper Parasitewon’t be fulfilling the potential of it’s premise unless it gets this balance right.
The Co-Op that has been shown off is also a nice touch. Each player controls a parasite and progresses through the stages as normal, doubling your potential for damage and ramping up the pace of each world. The recently launched Kickstarter is mainly to raise funds to port the game to consoles as well as it’s release on Steam. Once this is finished, it’ll give you a violent Co-Op alternative to Mario Party and Overcooked on Switch.
Neon That’ll Burn Your Retinas
The visual style has been ripped right out of an 80s arcade game. Except, there is a lot more blood. Like a lot more. The pixel art is in a 3D top-down world, giving the sprites depth. This feels like more than 2.5D, but without taking anything away from the pixel art itself. Everything else about Hyper Parasite matches the aesthetic, all obnoxious 80s fun. Hyper Violence, neon colours, and a cheesy plot, it’s more of a parody of a decade than a nostalgia piece. The colours alone are an assault on the senses. Everything bounces off the screen and glares, really making you feel the fun in destroying everything.
While the Kickstarter is in progress, there’s a demo build of Hyper Parasite currently available from Steam. For now, this is only for Windows but it does offer a good taste of what the final gameplay should be. It’s a game to watch for its eventual release. What’s available so far is a promising start. If Troglobytes Games can deliver a full title that’s just as engaging, then Hyper Parasites should be a fantastic ride.