System(s): Wii U
Release Date: July 3, 2014
Publisher (Developer): Bear Box Media (Andy Ford)
ESRB Rating: “Everyone”
Everyone is getting down with the sickness. No, I am not talking about a revival of the band Disturbed. I am talking about Internal Invasion for the Wii U. With everyone getting sick, the only way to cure them is to inject nano-bots and eradicate the infections from the inside. Ro’bert is the nano-bot tasked with saving the body he is injected in.
It’s In Your DNA
Guiding Ro’bert through the rivers of biological goop using cannons is the DNA of Internal Invasion. Using touch controls, you must launch from cannon to cannon while avoiding obstacles that may hinder your movement. Each of the 50 levels are pretty short in scope, which helps if you want to beat the timer to get a higher score. No punishment other than score befalls players if the timer runs out.
Every ten levels, you are faced with a boss fight. Well, not really a fight. It’s more about running for your life! Outpace the opponent and you’ll save the day and cure the patient.
All this sounds like some quick, good-natured fun. A multiplicity of issues, however, infuses frustrations instead of fun into Internal Invasion.
The issue that caused the most frustration is the twitchy nature of the touch controls. Trying to aim, as well as adjust the power level of the cannon, made for some poorly executed shots. Since Ro’bert cannot live outside a cannon for more than a few seconds, as he will disappears into the ether, repeating the level from the first cannon is all too common. Imprecise controls are inexcusable when most of the levels can get complicated and how fast you complete the each one factors into your overall score.
There are power pills that can be collected to help give Ro’bert that extra push needed to reach the next cannon. Sadly, the range movement while using this boost is nonexistent. There was a moment where I overshot a cannon, and tried to use the boost in order to push my way to the next one. Since Ro’bert disappears if outside a cannon too long, the boost did nothing but turn Ro’bert into a high speed trail of vapor.
Internal Invasion looks pretty with its cartoon-esque color schemes and art. Since you must stare at the Wii U Gamepad to play, anyone that wants to spectate can watch the TV. Which lead to something odd. I noticed a lot of stuttering when first loading up each level on the Wii U Gamepad, and it wasn’t present on the TV. The stuttering persisted when things were moving around at fast paces as well. Considering the speeds one needs to hit to escape boss levels, stuttering is the last thing you want.
Combine this with the twitchy controls mentioned earlier, you end up with the perfect storm of endless frustration. It ended up feeling like I’d succeed due to luck, rather than skill, when escaping the grasps of the monsters chasing Ro’bert during boss levels.
Double Bypass Surgery
Internal Invasion could be fun for those who love to chase high scores while skillfully dominating each level. Yet, once the twitchy controls and stuttering make their presence known, things quickly become a test of patience. In the end, these issues cause Internal Invasion to hemorrhage out the fun that should be had when playing.