One of the most difficult tasks to accomplish in this day and age is to create games that are unique, fun, and challenging. Yet, there always seems to be someone out there who comes up with an idea that basically excels at all three of those categories. Not everyone enjoys every genre that games fall under. I understand that not everyone is interested in a shooter, a sports title, or especially a puzzle game. For those who are in the same category as I am, someone who enjoys a challenging brain teaser, it’s awesome to be able to suggest Semispheres for the Nintendo Switch as an excellent addition to the ever expanding brain exercising library.
The concept is simple in that you control two jellyfish looking creatures from point A to point B by avoiding obstacles and sentries designed to make that journey difficult. The complexity comes in using the left stick to control the creature on the left panel and the right stick to control the creature in the right panel. Games like this one are a bit complex to explain in words, but watching the trailer helps illuminate the concept.
Consider each side as the same space in two different dimensions. There are items that the creatures can use to create holes that link the two play fields. To make it to the goal, you’ll need to create noises to attract sentries away from their post and even travel between the two dimensions. Here’s where the game becomes even more difficult. If you’re switching your creatures from one board to the other, the right stick still controls the creature that started on that side. So now your right stick is controlling the creature on the left and the left stick is controlling the creature on the right. That’s some pretty crazy right brain left brain teasing that might frustrate some players, but I found it engaging.
Until you actually start controlling these creatures yourself, it’s possible to think that this game is boring or that it would be super easy. Not so. It can be daunting when you always know there is always a solution to the level, but you just don’t see it. Planning ahead only gets you so far, so it then comes down to your ability to switch back and forth between your left and right brain that truly makes this a unique, fun, and challenging puzzler that is sure to give you many hours of enjoyment. There are a few surprises along the way and some cool background sounds that immerse you into this simple world as you guide your creatures to freedom.
- Graphics - 7/107/10
- Sound - 7/107/10
- Gameplay - 9/109/10
- Lasting Appeal - 8/108/10
Semispheres is a challenging puzzle title designed to give the player a unique control scheme and a ton of increasingly more difficult obstacle courses to traverse. It’s extremely rewarding to solve each level, and the game requires hand-eye coordination, which adds to the fun and keeps you interested. It has that “just one more level” quality to it that makes it hard to put down and perfect to play in handheld mode.
Jay has been an avid gamer since the Intellivision days. His hobbies include building PCs, 3D modeling and printing, and spending time with his children and dog.