Life is a bizarre thing! On the surface, it’s simple enough, but when you start looking deeper, it gets complicated. Therefore, have you ever considered the possibility of multiple dimensions? The belief is that every possible outcome is being played out. This is the core principle of What Lies in the Multiverse, a dark, yet funny adventure title.
Developed by Studio Voyager and IguanaBee and published by Untold Tales, this is a puzzle-platformer. It is a retro side-scrolling affair with a wicked sense of humour. Furthermore, it has brain-twisting puzzles, will test your reactions and will make you laugh repeatedly. Moreover, it has a striking cast of characters and a strange story that must be seen to be believed.
What Lies in the Multiverse does the basics right.
Even though the plot, characters and core concept are wild, the gameplay is excellent. What Lies in the Multiverse has got the basics spot on. Consequently, it is an excellent platform title that strikes the right note. It blends madness with increasingly convoluted problems to offer a challenging, yet fun experience.
You control a young boy who is obsessed with the idea of parallel worlds. He is determined to make the science work, and here is where the madness begins. Armed with a computer and an indignant cat, he starts his experiment. Somehow, he is successful, and this is where he meets the colourful Everett. This wizard, dressed in purple, has a sharp tongue, witty outlook, and a carefree attitude. Think of Willy Wonka, but instead of chocolate, he can bend time and space. Everett won’t allow the boy to jump willy-nilly between dimensions and so he becomes his assistant. Between them, they undertake a wild adventure and take on some wily adversaries. Subsequently, madness ensues, and you’ll chuckle while scratching your head throughout.
Simple mechanics and excellent puzzles.
Though the science behind What Lies in the Multiverse is complex, fortunately, the mechanics are not. The developers have created a wonderfully straightforward affair that is easy to understand. You must move left or right using a classic side-scrolling method. Furthermore, basic platform elements, such as leaping between surfaces and clambering up ladders, are utilised. All sounds easy, right? Wrong! The game twists the action when you flit between dimensions. As you change your perspective, new items appear. Whether it’s vines to climb, icy platforms to slide over, or poisonous air to breathe, it makes the action much harder.
Alongside the perspective-shifting ways are the logic-based problems! They begin easy enough, but soon become much larger and more complex. You are expected to slide boxes, flip switches, and time your jumps between each dimension. Therefore, it’ll test the hardiest of players and comprises many Eureka moments.
The story has 8 chapters that each contain two worlds. You’ll explore a train, town, countryside, caverns, and more. Each of these locations has an alternative dimension to visit, such as an icy tundra, a lush jungle, and a poisonous nightmare. Moreover, you’ll have to put up with “Interferences” and “Ubiquitous”. These are the unfortunate side effects of Everett’s frivolous use of his “Voyager”. This is the staff he uses to travel between dimensions and the reason he is being pursued. The Ubiquitous are items that exist but also don’t exist. They appear in both dimensions but can only be moved in one. The Interferences block the use of the Voyager while forcing you into an alternative world. Both anomalies force you to consider which plain to use while adding complexity to every puzzle you face.
What Lies in the Multiverse is wonderfully pixelated.
Old-school is the in thing. I’ve experienced more pixelated games since owning a Series X than anything else. Indie developers love the style and I admit I’m obsessed with it as well. Fortunately, What Lies in the Multiverse is wonderfully pixelated while being vivid and great to look at. Furthermore, the level design is interesting, varied, and keeps the action fresh. On top of this, the retro sprites add to the interesting layers of nostalgia. Visually, it won’t blow you away, but it’s pleasant and well-considered.
This continues in the simple but fun audio. The whimsical tunes change as you leap between dimensions, and this adds to the drama. Furthermore, there are some strange 8-Bit sounds that increase the madness. Fortunately, however, the noises and music add to the Sci-Fi theme without being too in your face.
Unlike some of its peers, What Lies in the Multiverse is easy to play. The developers have focused on a simple and responsive control setup. Consequently, this is easy to pick up and master. Therefore, new players and veterans alike will excel thanks to the user-friendly approach. There is an inclusion of basic QTEs that mix things up while maintaining the straightforward style.
Sadly, where this doesn’t excel is its longevity. Though there are 8 chapters, the story only lasts around 4 to 5 hours. This was a little disappointing, as I wanted it to continue. I enjoyed the whimsical story and colourful characters, and I didn’t want it to end. Luckily, however, there is replay value thanks to the large and varied achievement list. If you are a completionist, you’ll spend hours on multiple playthroughs. Consequently, this is great value for money and could span 10 to 15 hours.
What Lies in the Multiverse is great fun.
I expected What Lies in the Multiverse to be challenging. However, what I experienced was well-thought-out and user-friendly. It has some simple mechanics that evolve thanks to the multidimensional gameplay. Its cheeky story, loveable characters and silly ways will make you smile. Subsequently, you’ll experience an interesting title that is great fun to play. I adored it and I recommend you to buy it here! Can you help Everett complete his quest, or will his adversaries stop him?