“Life is a game made for everyone.”

Title: AVICII Invector
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Hello There Games
Publisher: Wired Productions
Release date: December 10th 2019
tl;dr: Homage to a respected DJ
Price: £17.99 / $19,99
Family Focus: Click here for more information.

Invector is a rhythm developed by Hello There Games which is currently available for Sony’s PS4. In order to celebrate the life of Swedish DJ AVICII, real name Tim Bergling, Hello There Games and Wired Productions teamed up for this enhanced version of the PS4 game which will be an homage to the DJ who unfortunately past away from suicide in April 2018. The game will be re-branded as AVICII Invector on PS4 while the game will make its debut on Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One. A portion of the game’s royalties will go directly to The Tim Bergling Foundation which advocates for the recognition of suicide as a global health emergency and removing the stigma attached to mental health issues.

Unlike most rhythm games, AVICII Invector features a story mode with a pretty thin story. The game has players in the shoes of space pilot Stella as she journeys from one world to another as players clear tracks and unlock the next one. While it is a nice addition, rhythm games don’t really need one as they live and breath on gameplay. Had they made a story similar to Rock Band where you climb the charts/ranks of the music world, it would’ve made the story a bit more interesting and fun to actually care about it.

Like rhythm games, AVICII Invector features a unique gameplay mechanic. As our space traveler, you’ll fly on rails coming across button prompts to press; it is similar to Amplitude or Frequency, but unlike Harmonix’s creations, there’s more than 3 buttons to press. When you’re in the “tunnel”, similar to the PS2’s Frequency, you’ll have to quickly press the button lining up on screen to boost your combo. In this case, arrows count as well, so if you want to switch walls and you press to early or too late, you’ll lose your combo.

The game has three difficulty settings: Easy, Normal and Hard. Obviously, the higher you go, the harder it becomes as you have more buttons to press and the speed of the game will increase. If you’ve played similar games in the past, Normal difficulty is the way to go despite the complexity displayed due to more buttons being used. While Easy mode is a great way for newcomers to the genre, it does ramp up pretty quick. Even at Easy, late in the first world, the game introduces an additional button to press, on top of the first 3 (not counting the d-pad arrows).

One of the game’s most interesting features is that in between “on rails” tunnel sequences, you get to fly freely; however, to keep your combo intact, you need to fly perfectly through some rings. I do believe this is a nice twist on the formula as it brings an interesting twist, but sometimes it can be a bit difficult to align yourself properly. If you feel that the game doesn’t challenge you enough, rank up a decent combo and you’ll have the ability to boost, making you go faster. It’s pretty cool in between on-rails sequences, but using it in the tunnel will require fast(er) dexterity.

While I do enjoy the game and genre, not everything is perfect. The lack of a proper tutorial is a little frustrating as newcomers to the genre might find it daunting and frustrating without a proper introduction to the genre. Thankfully, while the difficulty ramps up quite fast, if you find yourself struggling during a song no matter the difficulty, the game slows down a bit and brings you closer to the tracks.

Another nuisance of the game, the story development. In between songs you’ll be treated to hand drawn cutscenes with Stella as she reaches new planets and experiences troubles with her vessel, but instead of making it enjoyable, it’s just a cringe fest of a character throwing a hissy fit about not wanting to go home. Thankfully, those can be skipped, but I think they completely missed the boat if they wanted to introduce a decent , more relatable and immersive story.

AVICII Invector’s presentation is one of the best experiences of 2019; visually and aurally. The game is colorful and visually impressive; they made the space jet very basic so players can not only focus on the button prompts, but also enjoy the visual and joyfulness on screen. On the sound of things, the game features 25 of AVICII’s best EDM work. While I was not a fan of his, I can appreciate his work and enjoy it as I furiously tap on the controller. While I can understand this is an homage to AVICII, maybe adding a few additional tracks from artists who participated in the benefit concert or known associates to the DJ would’ve been a nice bonus.

AVICCI Invector is one the year’s best experience. Despite its lack of tutorial and utterly useless story, it offers a mesmerizing and capitvating experience where you’ll always tell yourself “one more song”. If you’re looking for a trippy and relaxing experience, you’ll be pleased with this one. Besides the money will also go to a good cause.

The Good

  • Visually impressive
  • Great soundtrack
  • Addictive gameplay

The Bad

  • Limited soundtrack
  • Throwaway useless story
  • Lack of proper tutorial might turn off newcomers

Family Focus

AVICII Invector is rated T for teen and PEGI3 due to the presence of mild language in some of the songs.

This review is based on a review copy of the game provided by the publisher