Curved Space Review

When I first saw a trailer for Curved Space it reminded me of the Glitch challenges in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. I was in the middle of playing (or re-playing Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart) at the time.

Ratchet with Glitch from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (2021)

After spending some time with Curved Space I can say that it sort of feels like the Glitch challenges, but is much different in many ways too. It’s more of a classic arcade-style game. 

In Curved Space you fly a spider-wrecking ship through F-Zero style looping levels. Throughout the campaign you’re able to upgrade your ship and pick up many different types of weapons. The game also features some other game modes, including Daily Run, Endless, Arena and Survival.

How to Play: TV vs Handheld

Last week, I began casually playing Curved Space on my Nintendo Switch in handheld mode. It wasn’t until this week that I got to try it out on the big screen for the first time. Although it’s a fine game in handheld mode, it’s a bit tough to control your ship and the camera with those tiny joy-con thumbsticks. It wasn’t until I upgraded to using my Nintendo Switch Pro controller that I truly got the real Curved Space experience.

When it comes to the Nintendo Switch some games are meant for handheld gaming while others are meant to be played docked. Of course, there are many games that are great in both handheld and on the TV. Curved Space is definitely a preferred docked game, although it’s still pretty enjoyable in handheld mode (and will be more-so with the larger screen of the Nintendo Switch OLED coming soon).

How to Kill Spiders

There are multiple ways to take out giant spiders and other space insects in Curved Space. The most common way would be to use your ship’s weapons. You’re able to carry two at a time so pay attention to what you have and how much ammo is left before you pick up something new. Running out of ammo for a particular weapon isn’t that big of a deal, as weapons are always dropping on the map.

As you progress you gain new abilities like Overdrive, Lash and Dash. Dash is your simple “get out of the way” technique, which can also deflect bullets. One of the coolest abilities is the Lashing Beam. You are able to sort of “lasso” enemies to make them easier targets. 

However, once you’ve gained your dash and lash it’s one of the sweetest combos for taking out enemies. Once you lash an enemy and have a hold of them, you can dash into them exploding them into pieces.

Using the Lashing Beam to smash enemies in Curved Space (2021)

Arcade-style Gameplay

Curved Space is a fun arcade-style adventure. I may have wished for something closer to the Glitch missions in Rift Apart. Maybe it’s the way the PS5 controller feels with it’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers that just makes these smaller challenge missions feel better than this whole game.

The levels in the campaign can get a bit repetitive. Although each level is a brand new landscape which you can explore every point of. There are multiple waves of enemies coming at you in each level. At times it feels like they are coming in the same order though — Kill Rollies, Kill Spikeys, Boss Fight!

The repetitiveness comes from the arcade-style of gameplay. Moving level to level, taking out the horde followed by a big boss fight. Although the bosses all look different they are all handled the same way, by feeding them a buttload of bullets.

Explore the Multiverse

In the campaign mode you’re able to sort of “choose your own adventure.” After some missions you’re able to choose what kind of mission to do next — Portal, Tangle or Asteroid. I’m not sure if it makes a big difference since every level is basically taking out a horde of enemies in a certain order.

The Verdict

So far I’m having a fun time with Curved Space. It’s a good game to keep around as a side game. You’re able to jump in and out, do a few missions in the campaign or try out some other game modes. See how long you can last in endless or survival mode.

The many choices in game modes make this a good game for many different types of gamers. Curved Space does a good job at being a modern take on classic arcade space shooters.

Curved Space is available now on all platforms.
*I was given a Nintendo Switch review code for Curved Space by the publisher.

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