The roguelike genre has been well represented on Nintendo’s hybrid console thus far. Sparks Games adds to this and brings us Metaverse Keeper, a dungeon crawler with roguelike elements. Is Metaverse Keeper a real winner? Read it in our review!
The story of the metaverse
In the game’s story, several alternate universes are connected through the metaverse. This metaverse can only remain in balance through the energy that flows through it. However, an evil figure uses this energy for his own ends. By turning him into the so-called Fel, the bad guys can become stronger than before. To prevent the metaverse from becoming unstable, a council of mysterious leaders has summoned heroes to stop this threat: the Metaverse Keepers.
each level is different
In the game you will always go down with one of the heroes to a level full of enemies. Each level is always randomly generated, so the chance of you running into the same level again is minimal. This is a game feature that we see more often in roguelike games. The objective of the game is to defeat the enemies and the boss in each level you play and to explore all possible corners. Scattered throughout the levels are various treasures in the form of weapons, coins, energy balls, and tokens. With energy orbs and coins you can buy other upgrades and reinforcements for your heroes.
Because the game has a wide variety of weapons and upgrades, you keep playing to unlock and try everything. The different weapons are sometimes hilarious and absurd. In this way, you can smash your enemies with bowling balls, a bottle or a real 8-bit gun. Plus, there are additional heroes that you can unlock, each with their own unique abilities. Going through levels like this with an increasingly stronger hero will hopefully challenge the final boss.
avoid the enemy
There are various attacks in the game to smash the enemies. With the weapon in your hand you can perform the standard attack. Press the X button to use your secondary weapon. This often does more damage, but also has a cooldown period after use. The left shoulder button launches bombs that detonate surrounding crystals to access previously inaccessible areas. All in all, you have quite an extensive move set to be able to dominate your enemies.
Soon, at the beginning of the game, you realize that aiming is done automatically. You basically hit and shoot in the same direction you’re walking. Because of this, it often happens that you can’t help but get very close to enemies. In my opinion, it would have made more sense if it helped the right stick of the Switch to aim. Now, many of the tactics in the game are based on dodging your opponents in time. It certainly doesn’t help that the characters move quite slowly. To help you get out of trouble, the game has given each character their own unique dodge move. You’ll need to use this often, but unfortunately it also has a cooldown period after using it 3 times. Besides the fact that this helps to increase the difficulty of the game, it is also very frustrating.
In cartoon style with your peers
The biggest advantage of Metaverse Keeper is the cartoon style in which the game is designed. This style fits very well with the often absurd situations you find yourself in. Enemies range from giant robotic plants to mutated kittens. All animations are smoothly and beautifully animated and help (despite the slow controls) to achieve a smooth gaming experience. The characters look unique and are therefore recognizable. The different levels are colorful and varied. Due to the aforementioned randomness of the levels, you won’t get bored easily. Otherwise, the game’s music is not memorable.
What I also see as a big plus is the presence of local and online co-op. This significantly increases the replay value because now you can explore the levels with a total of 4 people. Local co-op creates a lot of hilarity and then Metaverse Keeper turns out to be more fun as a game to play with friends. However, I was unable to test online co-op, because at the time of writing this review there were no online rooms to find.
bugs and glitches
During my brief playtime with the game, I encountered a relatively large number of bugs and glitches. For example, the game started to crash at times when many opponents appeared. I also had a moment twice where the game literally crashed and the image remained frozen. The game is available to PC players on Steam with an early access statement. That means bugs and glitches may still be present in the game. These have yet to be resolved with the translation to the Switch. Something that may be fixed with patches in the future.
The concept of the game is quite simple and with the current choice of games it is not very original. But while Metaverse Keeper looks like a dime roguelike at first glance, it turns out there’s still quite a bit of fun hidden in it. The many upgrades and weapons that can be unlocked, as well as the addition of local and online co-op, ensure that you will have more fun with the game than you initially expected. Slow controls as well as the presence of various bugs and glitches do the game no good. All in all, Metaverse Keeper is a game with a lot of potential, but it still needs a lot of work.