Dimension Drive is an interesting game. Especially to someone who hasn’t played many Bullet Hell shooters before.
The main thing setting it apart from other games in the genre is it’s new and unique dual screen mechanic, that essentially puts you in control of two ships at once with the ability to shift between screens at the press of a button.
This, of course, results in some interesting level design that would otherwise create a rather frustrating game. Now, if you find yourself up against a solid wall or powerful attack, you have the option to dodge it by simply shifting to the other screen.
The game uses this mechanic in some interesting ways, often baiting the player into dangerous situations with power-ups and collectables that require some serious coordination in order to grab successfully.
You’ll also find that each screen has its own energy bar that depletes with every shot taken, which especially in boss fights can create an interesting scenario of resource management and patience-testing. Something that encourages the player to take their time and make every shot count, as the quickest way to replenish energy is to switch to the other screen.
I’m pleased to say that beyond the titles main gimmick, Dimension Drive also takes steps in other interesting directions.
For example, a short way into the game you gain the ability to turn your ship around and fire behind you, something I never expected to have to think about and in combination with the dual screen mechanic, creates some interesting gameplay scenarios.
There’s also the option of playing the campaign in Co-Op with a second player, but unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to do so.
Whilst on the topic of the campaign, Dimension Drive does come complete with a plot told through mostly silent cutscenes and somewhat monotonous text boxes. Something that many people can appreciate but for others can do little more break up the gameplay.
Thankfully, the options menu does have the ability to switch off cutscenes, something I didn’t expect but was happy to take advantage of.
Dimension Drive is a game that surprised me in many ways. The innovative dual screen mechanic certainly afforded the title with an avenue of interesting level designs and boss encounters, but inevitably begun to feel repetitive after the first hour. Whilst there is some variety to be found in the weapons, power-ups and enemy design it’s safe to say that if you don’t like Bullet Hell shooters, this won’t be the one to change your mind.
As someone who doesn’t play games from the genre often, I can say that the Normal difficulty was challenging but fair. I had little trouble getting my head around the rules and mechanics of the game, a process aided by a smooth and responsive set of controls alongside a simplistic and easy to remember button layout.
Not a bad game, but nothing too special either.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*