He said one day you'll leave this world behind, so live a life you will remember.
I am not entirely familiar with the career of Avicii, but I sure have learned that a lot of songs I’ve heard on store radios in the past were by him thanks to my time with AVICII Invector, a game set to release for Switch on September 8th. I actually got a chance to play this game way back at PAX East back when it was running on a Switch but still using the UI of the PC version, and I remember being incredibly impressed even then. So when we were asked if we’d like to preview the game two months early I was more than ready to jump on it and see if it still held up, and it very much does.
AVICII Invector is a rhythm game that takes full advantage of the late DJ’s library of incredibly catchy tunes. In the game the player takes control of a spaceship that is zooming along a track, and gameplay comes in three phases. The first and most common one has the player going through a triangle going through a tunnel, able to use the analog stick to rotate onto a different section of the wall. The second phase is roughly the same but instead of a tunnel you’re flying along a road, with the analog stick switching lanes left or right. Third and easiest of all is a free flying phase, where you have full control of the ship as you try to fly through rings that form in front of you. All three of these are switched between at varying frequency depending on the song you’re playing.
During the first two phases you will come across yellow lines on the ground, usually set to the bass drum in the song, and you must press L when you cross them. You’ll also encounter arrow icons that require you to hit their corresponding face buttons, though which ones depends on the difficulty you’re playing on. On easy you will only see B and Y, medium throws A into the mix, and hard completes the set by adding X. Lastly there are directional icons the player will encounter, which require them to use the analog stick to either switch lanes or rotate the stage as mentioned before. As the player racks up points they will also fill up a meter at the bottom, which once full can activate a boost mode. This will increase the amount of points each successful input nets them, but at the cost of speeding up the speed of the icons coming at you considerably, creating a rather neat risk/reward.
Our preview largely only covers the first “world”, with the songs included being “Can’t Catch Me”, “Pure Grinding”, “What Would I Change it to”, and my personal favorite “The Nights - Avicii By Avicii Remix”. All four of these songs are fantastic and incredibly varied, which has me excited to see what else the game has in store on its setlist. The game looks fantastic, with a neat sci-fi neon art style, and the sound design even outside of the music makes successfully performing inputs feel incredibly satisfying. Difficulty balance also feels very well done, with easy being pretty low key and good for zoning out, medium being a very decent challenge, and hard making my brain completely shut off, which is exactly what I want from a hard mode in a rhythm game.
The first bit of AVICII Invector has impressed me quite a bit, both with its varied setlist and its tight controls, and I look forward to diving into more and talking about the rest of the game in the future. There’s a whole multiplayer feature that I haven’t even had the chance to try, as it’s local only and circumstances have not given me a chance to play with it quite yet, which is something to look forward to in the full review closer to release.
AVICII Invector is currently set to release on Nintendo Switch on September 8th, 2020.