Remember Avicii: Invector? Released in 2019, it was a super-stylish music rhythm game exclusively featuring the music of Avicii. Piloting a spacecraft, you’d fly along a track, hitting various buttons in time with the music. Occasionally, the track would give way to open space, and you’d replace button pressing with flying through rings. Its one-artist soundtrack, though – excellent as it is – meant its appeal was rather limited to Avicii fans. And that’s where Invector: Rhythm Galaxy comes in.
Invector: Rhythm Galaxy is essentially the same game as Avicii: Invector, albeit with a more varied soundtrack. If you enjoyed the rhythm action gameplay of the previous game, then, you’re going to want to keep this on your radar. It almost looks and plays identically to its predecessor, but there are a couple of inexplicable choices that give us pause.
The first bizarre choice is that, while in Avicii: Invector, you pushed a button while your ship was over the button marker, here you need to push a button before your ship reaches it. It doesn’t feel as intuitive and honestly, until we got used to it, it threw us off quite a bit. Especially considering that the difficulty level of Invector: Rhythm Galaxy is all over the place.
Avicii: Invector’s easiest difficulty levels are ‘Beginner’ and ‘Easy’, with ‘Easy’ being the default level the game starts you on. It offers a nice introduction to the game without being so easy that it’s boring, but allows players to get acquainted with its mechanics. On the other hand, Invector: Rhythm Galaxy’s first two difficulty levels are ‘Casual’ and ‘Normal’, with normal being the default level. It’s notably tougher, being more in line with Avicii: Invector’s third ‘Medium’ difficulty. But in turn, ‘Casual’ feels far too easy, with notes so sparse that it’s a little dull to play.
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Is it too much of a problem? Not really: like most rhythm games, some tracks are naturally tougher than others. And the more you play, the more your fingers will get used to hitting the notes. Perhaps the most important part of any music rhythm games is its soundtrack, and it’s hard to be too disappointed with what Invector: Rhythm Galaxy Offers. True, many of the songs are not necessarily to our tastes – it heavily caters to fans of modern chart music. But there are some outliers in there, such as Tina Turner, Duran Duran and Linkin Park. Inevitably, there’ll be a handful of songs you’ll find yourself tapping your foot to regardless of your tastes – and equally likely to be some you’ve never heard before.
Jump into Single Player (or Multiplayer, where you can challenge a friend locally in split screen) and you’ll instantly have a list of more than 30 songs to choose from. It’s refreshing to be able to jump into a wide range of songs right off the bat rather them being locked behind progression walls. There are more songs to unlock, though, and for that reason we suggest you start in Campaign mode.
Campaign mode offers a perfunctory story as you make your way through a set course of songs. Every so often, you’ll come across a branching path, and it’s at these points you’ll unlock new songs to add to your playlist. As you progress through the Campaign you’ll also visit new ‘worlds’, giving you different environments to fly through as you play a track. Once they’re unlocked in Campaign you can use them in the free-play Single and Multiplayer modes.
No matter what environment you’re playing Invector: Rhythm Galaxy in, this is a fantastic-looking game. It’s bright and colourful, with your screen permanently awash with a neon, space-age glow. Few music rhythm games are as stylish as this, and the fact that you’re piloting a space ship rather than simply pushing buttons gives it an extra edge over its competition.
If you’re a fan of pop music, you’re going to get a big kick out of Invector: Rhythm Galaxy. Its uneven difficulty might prove to be an obstacle for some players, but if you’re willing to persevere – or don’t mind playing on its ultra-easy ‘Casual’ mode – there’s a lot of content here to enjoy. Being able to play more than 30 songs straight away is a real boon, and the chance to unlock more by playing Campaign mode is a very welcome incentive. Is it quite as good as Avicii: Invector? Inexplicably, perhaps not – but we welcome the new range of songs with open arms.