In Will Sykes’ Perfect Universe, everything is black and white and gravity is the main factor. As soon as you open the game, you’re met with things looking bleak (beautiful, but bleak) and a sad song that wouldn’t sound out of place in Ludovico Einaudi’s catalogue of heartbreaking piano masterpieces. Put that against the fact that Perfect Universe is a collection of fun mini games and you’re met with one hell of a juxtaposition.
There are nine game modes (three single player and six local multiplayer) with the one common denominator being you have to use gravity to your advantage, even if sometimes it feels like it’s working against you. It’s a seriously eclectic collection. First up is Perfect Moon, where you control someone who has to collect stars, floating in the ether. Next up is Moon Life, where you control a Martian like creature, and simply walking this dude using the joysticks is insanely hard. It’s like if you were playing a trickier version of Octodad. While drunk. On a roller coaster. Then you have Star Light, where you take flight of a rocket ship. Thrust too hard, and it’ll be over before you know it. Actually that sounds like my love life. Let’s move on.
Now the multiplayer section is known as Sports Day. Don’t worry, you’re not gonna have some overly aggressive teacher yelling at you because you messed up the egg and spoon race. We’ll all been there. Oh maybe that was just my school. Let’s move on.
As previously mentioned, there are six events to float into. Most do exactly what they say on the tin, such as Moon Golf, Moon Volley and so on. But games like Gravity Dodge (gravity dodgeball!), Balloon Pop (pop balloons!) and Space Race (race with rockets!) really bring out awesome and testing times with friends. Because Perfect Universe is that classic case of easy to pick up, hard to master type experience. And although all eyes are on Uncharted 4, Doom, Overwatch and other heavyweights at the moment, it would be a real shame if something as unique as Perfect Universe got left behind. With a whole universe of content, this charming, eccentric collection is well worth a look.
A good press quote here would be “Perfect Universe is out of this world!” but I’m not going to say that. It’s too obvious. But it is a really cool game. Oh sod it..and it’s out of this world! (Punk and Lizard, 2016)
Punk rating: 8/10