HyperParasite is a twin stick shooter similar to enter the gungeon with procedural generation, however in this there are no guns and your life bars are the enemies you takeover, which provides you with their weapon and a secondary ability on cooldown, and through the use of switching bodies and dodging effectively you have to fight your way through 5 acts each with their own unique and challenging bosses in order to “push the button” and stick it to the human race.
The gameplay is fairly solid and reminiscent of enter the gungeon and binding of Isaac where you’re locked in a room with waves of enemies to defeat before you’re allowed to progress, and the challenge comes primarily from the inability to takeover the bodies of the enemies coming at you leaving you exposed in parasite form where one hit will kill you, unless you’ve spent precious level ups on some parasite lives, and whilst this may not be preferable over attack damage or host body health and resistence you can see where this might become important when you progress to act 2 and onwards as each act has it’s own cast of characters to unlock, and you will not have any access to any of the bodies until you’ve defeated an elite version of them to spawn a brain and taken this back to wito your alien shopkeeper guide and paid him for the ability to access those bodies which doesn’t come cheap. Every run is fresh from the beginning other than the brain unlocks you’ve gathered or paid for in the shop apart from that you lose everything any time you die and start over from scratch.
Elite spawns seem to be more common when you’ve got a bigger enemy combo going on so being sure to take down the opponents fast seems the best way to ensure you spawn an elite to obtain the brains, and whilst you’re in severe danger on any act you don’t have the ability to take a host on you can mitigate this by some smarter planning by storing enough bodies in wito’s freezer to utilise on the floors you don’t yet have access to bodies on, but this is still a challenge because you not only have to find the shop before you die, but you also have to survive the remainder of a room in weaker parasite form after having your body destroyed.
Not being able to have access immediately to any brains on a floor does become a grind, and although you can mitigate the problem in some ways I can see how this could be ofputting to players as it really is a grind to unlock your first brain on any given act but once you’ve got your first brain you can make good inroads to unlocking more and surviving the floors, and it does become more about unlocking brains over skill to ensure you’re able to progress more easily but sill definitely is involved in unlocking your first brain on any floor before dying which does become more challenging and also more expensive the further you progress.
Whilst there are a limited number of room variants at present don’t forget that games like the binding of Isaac initially started off with a small pool of rooms and these grew over time, and the ones in this game at present are pretty fun to play through and often include a lot of fun special rooms from the drive in cinema and police stations where you have to defeat an enemy activating the turrets before his timer runs out to literal rooms of fire you will have to have fire immunity to even attempt to pass through.
I do have a couple of issues with not being able to tell what powerups are the same type as the ones I already have, but you can go into your almanac to see if the one available is the same type which will make you drop your current one, I just think it’d be nicer if you had a notification the same as you do with useable items that state if you’ve already got one of that type of item because if that exists for those it should exist for all powerups you can gather.
Should you choose there are a number of secrets to discover which can provide additional skills to help enhance your current run or which open up alternate extra levels, which will lengthen runs but provide more opportunities to gain additional levels and additional opportunities to die, but the enemies that will spawn will all be within the area pool of characters you’re already exploring although sometimes special non inhabitable enemies will be different for example in the sewers rats will be attacking you from spawners which you will not encounter in the streets above.
All in all if you can get over the initial grind and plan well to save some bodies in the shops and take enough money for your first brain unlocks into later acts you can reduce the grinding negatives to obtain your first brain on any act, and once you’re able to take on bodies you’ll have a lot of fun with the gameplay and enjoy seeing the different movie and celebrity references of the 80’s scattered amongst the characters and gameplay, especially if you’re a fan of shoot em up crawler games like this, the ability to takeover enemies including the minibosses is a very fun aspect and an interesting twist to the genre and the price tag is pretty cheap for the number of hours of gameplay you’ll get out of it, you just have to get over the hurdle of getting your first brain on any given act and once you’ve done that every floor is a lot more enjoyable, so saving and planning for this in any given run you plan to get to the next act is pretty much essential until you’ve gathered your first brain.
You can get hyperParasite for yourself on steam now at https://store.steampowered.com/app/838110/HyperParasite/?curator_clanid=6860437/