Curved Space is a new twin-stick shooter for consoles and PC. Sadly, it’s not a great game and it’s let down by some baffling design choices.
Curved Space has everything right on paper, but in practice, it’s just not a very fun game to play and in my time with the game, it’s not even possible to finish.
Release Date: June 28th, 2021
Developer: Only By Midnight Ltd
Publisher: Maximum Games
Availability: PSN, Retail – Buy on Amazon
Curved Space has a few game modes. There’s the campaign story mode which I mostly played. Survival mode is self-explanatory. Daily Run is a daily challenge. Endless mode is also self-explanatory, and completely redundant. I thought the campaign ran on for too long, so the idea of potentially spending all of eternity playing Curved Space hurt my head.
As a twin-stick shooter, all Curved Space had to do was throw waves of enemies at me, get my palms sweaty, and offer a nice progression loop and I would have been happy enough. I’ve done this song and dance before and I know all moves. Curved Space doesn’t, and it flops around on the dancefloor like a drunken pillock.
The campaign’s story is forgetable, aside from the ending, which I won’t forget because the game glitched on me a dozen times and stopped me from beating the last level. After a couple of hours slogging through a boring campaign that cycles between killing robot space bugs, leeching the energy of the robot space bugs, and fighting some awfully boring bosses, I was pretty annoyed to get to the end and find it doesn’t work. I don’t care to know what the ending is, but I do try to make a point of finishing a game’s story when I’m reviewing it. It wasn’t possible on this occasion and I wasted a good half an hour trying to force my way through the broken level.
Gameplay doesn’t save Curved Space, sadly. The basics are fine in that you shoot with the right trigger, dash with the left, and move around in your ship that looks like a housefly. You can switch weapons and pickup new ones, though I found it was easier to just stick with my preferred weapons because some are plain stupid. In a game that throws waves of enemies at you, a slow-firing “sniper” weapon is completely out of place. Some weapons run out of ammo, meaning you’ll have to mooch around the awkwardly designed levels to find another, completely ruining any kind of flow you can find with the game.
Curved Space has a load of upgrades, too, though the way they’re presented to you is questionable. Rather than presenting a nice selection screen where you can see what upgrade your getting – like 99% of other games – this one puts all the upgrades in colourful discs that float around at the end of the level. You have to move next to each one to find out what they are before picking one. This fucked me off to no end and after a couple of levels I stopped caring and just got the first one that came close enough to me. They didn’t really matter, anyway.
For all of the upgrades the game dishes out to your ship, I can’t say I noticed any chance between the promising first level and the utter disappointment that was the final stage.
Curved Space is not the twin-stick shooter you’re looking for. It’s poor and there are far better games out there doing similar things minus all the strange and annoying design choices. Go and play Geometry Wars 3. That game is the pinnacle of twin-stick arcade shooters
And that’s the end of this review. Thank you for sticknig around until the end, you’re a star, and I promise I won’t ruin this ending by glitching out! Do us a favour, nip down below, drop a comment, like, subscribe, and turn on notifications so that you don’t miss a video. There’s a bunch of links and other stuff in the description, so give that a look if you want. We have a YouTube membership you can join. Buys us our biscuits. Yummy. I’ve been Chris, you’ve been gorgeous, and I’ll catch you on the next one. Ba bye.
Overall - Bad - 4/10
Curved Space is a poor game that frustrates and confounds more than it entertains. The irony is that in a game about killing bugs, bugs kill much of the game’s appeal. Poor design choices and weak gameplay kill the rest.
- Looks really nice
- The DualSense is used well
- Levels are awkwardly designed
- Lots of pointless weapons
- The gameplay loop gets old fast
- Boss battles are boring and don’t offer any challenge
- The upgrade system is ridiculous
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS5. Reviewed using PS5.