A fond memory from my childhood was hanging out with a few friends playing Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes for the Nintendo 64. As someone who owned a ton of action figures and other toys, I thought it was so cool to play a video game that even attempted to animate some of the Army Men toys that I used to play with. This is just one of the reasons I was happy to try out Hypercharged: Unboxed after Digital Cybercherries sent us some codes for an early build of their game.
Hypercharged: Unboxed is a first-person tower defence shooter which supports up to four players online and locally. You take on the role of an action figure defending a power generator from waves of oncoming toys. The game’s visuals immediately reminded me of Toy Story and Small Soldiers. You’re able to customize your own action figure, selecting from a variety of skins and other cosmetic features that refer to brand name toys and even a few famous video game characters. Weapon layouts are also customizable along with deployable defensive traps. Being able to design my own figure was a really neat idea and I look forward to seeing just how many customization options Digital Cybercherries adds to the final release.
Though there isn’t much to comment on from an audio standpoint, Hypercharged: Unboxed is a great looking game. The first map starts you off on the shelf of a store in the toy aisle, surrounded by other packaged toys. Boxes and other empty packages are sprawled along the floor and can be used as cover. Every detail really works to make it look like the toy section you’d find in a store like Wal-Mart.
Although it’s possible to play a solo game in Hypercharged: Unboxed, I wouldn’t recommend it. This is a title that really only works if you have at least one friend with you. Most enemies in the game will charge straight for the generator, which can overrun solo players. Fortunately, defensive constructs such as turrets and spike traps can help to pick up the slack but in order to operate they require AA batteries that highly resemble the Duracell brand. Still, the game can feel a bit shallow after a while.
Playing with friends does help to alleviate that problem to an extent. While playing through with a couple of friends, it was exciting to spot the nostalgic toys that would be attacking with each new wave of enemies. We were all taken back to our elementary school days when we saw a swarm of spinning tops that looked nearly identical to Beyblades. I would like even more references to popular toys turned into enemies.
As it stands, Hypercharged: Unboxed is a fun title to play with friends. I do think that a game with such a fun premise would benefit from additional modes, possibly introducing more exploration rather than keeping you locked to such small areas. I’m looking forward to seeing how this game turns out as it’s developed further but for now, Hypercharged: Unboxed is a short but fun nostalgia trip to play with friends. The game is currently available on Steam for $16.99 CAD.