Little known indie development team MixedBag are a modest bunch of guys. Tucked away in the far corners of Turin in Northern Italy, they have been busy – super busy in fact. The result is their now prized possession – psychedelic, kaleidoscopic shooter Futuridium EP Deluxe. Get set for one hell of a roasting.
Futuridium launches you into full-on gameplay just like your favourite arcade games did back in the day. This game is about speed and skill, but it’s also about immersing yourself into a different kind of shoot ’em up. The developers have thrown out the endless, typical upgrades and ever prevalent levelling up features. This shooter has its own game plan, and a mightily clever one it is too. The upshot is a blurry supernova of colour combined with incredibly addictive gameplay. What you are left with is a game that blows all the other competition sideways. A huge part of why it blows some of your other shooters into the abyss is because your ship can boost, shoot and perform eye-watering 180 degree turns in an instant.
The premise is simple; destroy all the cubes before your energy runs dry. The cubes in question are placed on brightly coloured alien spacecrafts and platforms which lurk in the darkest corners of space. Seek and destroy. Some platforms are intricate in design, hiding cubes both inside, on top and underneath their surfaces. Other cubes are littered between structures, tucked away and buried. It’s here where you need to preform death-defying lunges inside tight claustrophobic tunnels to pick off each cube. A quick tap on the button pulls a 180 turn and lets you return for multiple sweeps through missed areas to disintegrate those last remaining cubes. This is what Futuridium EP Deluxe is about; it’s a ferocious and exciting shooter with a pumping Wipeout-esque soundtrack to boot. If you really want to induce travel sickness then selecting cockpit view will suffice. I think you get the picture here.
There are 5 levels with 10 stages to each. Trust me, MixedBag want you to play and enjoy Futuridium as much as possible. As you venture further into space, certain sections become harder than 6 feet of hardcore. However, they still want you to progress. To do this they have put in place a constant extra credit/continue that is awarded to you, so the more cubes you destroy, the more chances you have at success and unlocking future levels. Each of the ten sections needs to be completed within the set amount of credits given to you or it’s game over. Destroying cubes also unlocks different skins. There are 10 in total and with names like Bubble Gum Pink and so on, you know what to expect here. Other extra features include a Classic mode and a super hard bonus game called Flappyridium. Not forgetting of course the Leaderboards. They also play a big part in Futuridium.
From Zaxxon and Defender, to TxK and Velocity 2X and all that has come in-between, it’s the simple yet sophisticated mechanics that make a game stand the test of time, and Mauro Fanelli, MixedBag’s main man, knows this. From my early days of standing on milk crates playing old school arcade cabinets to the modern day Resogun, here we have another classic to add to the ever growing list.
MixedBag have stripped away the unnecessary and gone back to basics to produce something extraordinarily special. Highly polished gameplay and amazing mechanics deliver to PS4 and PS Vita a massive heart pumping release. Late night gaming just got a whole lot later.
Lizard Rating: 10/10