PN Review: Internal Invasion
Internal Invasion has you taking control of a nano-bot named Robert, who’s been injected into the body of a sick patient and tasked with restoring their health. The story gave me flashbacks to the game Microcosm, a pretty but shallow FMV shooter from the early/mid 90’s. Internal Invasion can’t match that title’s eye candy, but it’s a more enjoyable game.
The physics based gameplay has you flinging your bot about (via nano cannons) as you try to advance through the ailing body. The game’s challenge is carried out exceedingly well, with difficulty to appeal to gamers of all types. You can simply try working your way towards the exit (perfect for casual play) or try getting all collectables while fighting both the clock and limited number of allowable moves. Some of these latter demands are so taxing, I’ve challenged the dev to show proof they can be done!
Visually this game is nothing spectacular (and repetitive) but it does the job. It does suffer from some slow down though which is slightly jarring. Some of it’s by design, but much is unintentional. A patch is already being developed to target this thankfully. The music fares immensely better, and the catchy tracks might be my favorite part of the game. The tunes are so pleasant and happy, making great contributions to the fun atmosphere! My request for a future addition – music player please.
Control is done on the GamePad with the stylus. It’s good and responsive for the most part (if a bit sensitive) but I would’ve liked to have been able to pan about the levels with buttons. Thankfully, the dev has confirmed this will be implemented in an update which should benefit the game, especially during the boss encounters. Speaking of …
The boss encounters are a real highlight! These are intense affairs, where you’re given chase and must navigate to the exit extra quickly. This is where I found panning with a stylus not ideal, as you’re working against especially strict time constraints and the stylus just isn’t quick enough – there’s barely time to look ahead as is! The music for these encounters is haunting, a nice contrast from otherwise happy tunes. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the game!
Internal Invasion would benefit from some more polish though. There are some clear inconsistencies in both the physics and hit detection, and certain levels boil down to randomness and chance. A couple of examples of the latter are a level where you’re automatically dropped towards a cannon (which can be easily missed ) or automated cannons that blow you into a bone – neither a result of any player input! In fairness, similar games deal with many of these same issues, and I still enjoyed Internal Invasion in spite of them. But I found it was at its best when keeping things simpler. The levels that were several screens high and wide and with new elements brought these quirks to the fore.
Overall Internal Invasion has proved a pleasant surprise more often than not. While it’s true that parts of the game could definitely be more polished, overall it remains an enjoyable experience. The upcoming tweaks (and free DLC) should make it even more so. I say it’s worth checking out, especially if you have a family. Kids can enjoy the fun setting and focus simply on getting through each area, while adults can try the advanced goals which should keep you playing for a long while.