Binarystar Infinity

Available now on Switch and PC (Switch version tested) – Published by Forever Entertainment

With a very distinctive, Downwell-esque ‘1-bit’ graphical sheen, horizontal shoot ’em up Binarystar Infinity certainly has style on its side.

With just a single screen of exposition, it doesn’t waste any time throwing you into the action either. The good thing is that the action is fast, smooth and puts up a reasonable challenge.

Unfortunately, there’s a few issues that mar the experience. There’s a screen shake effect that happens whenever you destroy an enemy and that – coupled with the dark red that projectiles are coloured with – makes it difficult to actually see what’s about to hit you most of the time. The stark colour scheme works when there’s lighter backgrounds for sure, but against the black void of space, the dark red choice just doesn’t seem to be a wise one.

Still, it’s not such a hindrance that it’ll keep you from progressing for long – it’s just a shame that losing a life can often feel like it isn’t your fault. The game can be beaten in a little over an hour – with restart points at the beginning of each stage helping with progress – and, once complete, a few bonus modes open up to provide some replayability. There’s a co-op mode too, though I’ve yet to rope anyone in to try the game with me.

All in all then, it’s a stylish, entertaining space shooter with a nicely faux retro feel, but the few issues it has with some visual choices do stop it short of being an essential experience. It’s priced fairly, but with such a wide range of similar retro shoot ’em ups available on Switch, Binarystar Infinity is up against stiff competition.

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