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Semispheres review for PS Vita, PS4, Switch


Platform: PS Vita
Also On: Switch, PS4, PC
Publisher: Vivid Helix
Developer: Vivid Helix
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

There’s something about Semispheres that makes it seem like it was tailor-made for handhelds. While I haven’t played the PS4 or PC versions, if they’re anything like the game that was released on the Vita, it feels like it’d be too short and too simplistic to fully enjoy on a console. At the same time, it requires a little too much precision to fit in on your phone. So: the Vita and, presumably, the Switch are a perfect home for the game.

The key here — and what separates Semispheres from something you’d find in the App Store — is that the game is built around twin thumbsticks. You’re manoeuvring two little glowing orbs around small areas on a splitscreen, trying to help both reach their respective goals while avoiding searchlights that send them back to the beginning of the level. You can play around with sounds to try and deceive the searchlights, but really, the core of the game is how dexterous you are with both of your thumbs, occasionally at the same time. (It’s harder than it sounds, and it would be practically impossible to pull off on a touchscreen.)

If you’re looking for depth or replayability, there’s not too much of it here. Once you’ve beaten a level, that’s it — there’s no point going back and trying for a faster time. There is a bit of a story (something about a boy and his robot), but it’s fairly inconsequential, and it will neither help nor hinder your enjoyment of the game.

There are some minor annoyances here and there. Occasionally a spotlight will happen to catch one of the blobs on the spot where it regenerates, and the level will get stuck in a loop until you manually restart it. There’s also the odd puzzle where it feels like the game is expecting you to be a little more dexterous than is physically possible — but we’re talking about a puzzle game here. If there wasn’t a bit of a challenge here and there, it wouldn’t be worth picking up.

And Semispheres is definitely worth picking up on a handheld. It’s not going to change your life or anything, but it will undeniably give you a few hours of pleasant puzzling.

Vivid Helix provided us with a Semispheres PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B