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Hypercharge: Unboxed Review: A Toybox of Nostalgia

Platform reviewed: Xbox Series S

Also On: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, Steam

Price: $24.99

Coming from a modest background, my toy collection was small, but that didn't hinder my creativity and the imaginative skirmishes where all my toys clashed in epic showdowns. Hypercharge: Unboxed resonates with those memories, evoking a similar sense of nostalgia. It combines elements that remind me of the toys from my youth, despite not having official licenses. At first glance, it might seem like just another tower defense game, but a deeper exploration reveals it's much more than that. This game is brimming with charm and a plethora of unlockables, making it a treasure trove of discovery.

My favorite aspect of Hypercharge: Unboxed is its homage to a diverse range of toys. The game features an array of unlockable characters, including ones reminiscent of a GI Joe action figure, a dinosaur, a professional wrestler, and even a character that seems to have leaped right out of Dragon Ball Z. Beyond the characters themselves, additional extra customization options such as additional heads, skins, and weapons for each character can be unlocked. These additional unlocks typically involve completing specific objectives across various levels or discovering hidden items throughout the game's stages.

However, the nostalgia doesn't stop at the playable characters, as the enemies also evoke fond memories of toys from the 80s and 90s. For instance, Ninja Joe bears a striking resemblance to a Power Ranger, Slobkins remind me of Mad Balls, and the green army men are exactly what you'd expect—classic green army men. Encountering these various enemies was just as delightful as unlocking new characters.

In each level, the objective is to defend one or more towers. I teamed up with three other heroes, either real players or highly intelligent AI. Prior to each wave, my teammates and I had the opportunity to strategically place various traps to safeguard our towers. These traps could be unlocked and require a certain amount of coins to set up, which could be collected during gameplay. Exploring each level is essential to success. Each level presents additional objectives, such as locating hidden items or interacting with various elements within the environment. For instance, in the bathroom level, I had to flush a toilet to fulfill an objective. The variety of missions within each level contributed to its replay value, offering a diverse range of challenges to keep me engaged.

As I progressed through my gameplay, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter bosses. Interestingly, the first boss turned out to be more challenging than some of the subsequent ones, largely because I hadn't yet unlocked the traps that later became crucial to my success. Overcoming these bosses necessitated a collaborative effort between my teammates and me, working in unison to defeat them.

While Hypercharge: Unboxed is certainly enjoyable when played solo, the real magic happens when playing with friends. I found myself laughing at the chaotic explosions and destruction that unfolded while playing alongside my friends. The ability to strategize with real people adds a whole new level of camaraderie that simply can't be matched when playing with AI. Playing with friends truly brings out the best in this game.

Final Grade: B+

I realize that some of the references made in Hypercharge: Unboxed may not resonate with gamers younger than me, but the game struck a special chord with me. The variety of unlockables and challenges enriches what might first appear as a straightforward tower defense game, transforming it into a much more deeper experience. Teaming up with friends is undoubtedly the premier way to enjoy Hypercharge: Unboxed, yet the game's intelligent AI ensures that playing solo feels almost as engaging as playing with real-life companions.

Review code provide by Stride PR



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