Releasing on March 4, 2022, What Lies In The Multiverse is a pixel-based platformer and puzzle-solver game by StudioVoyager and Iguanabee. The game revolves around traversing different universes to help you progress through the game, solve puzzles and eventually uncover the mystery behind the multiverse. In this What Lies In The Multiverse review, we will tackle the focal strengths that make this pixel-based game stand out and some of the flaws developers can improve on.
The story starts relatively simple. You’re a kid in your room researching about the multiverse, and eventually, you will stumble upon a simulation of the multiverse from your PC.
What follows next is the simulation teleports the kid into an unknown universe full of monk-like beings telling you cryptic things about the multiverse.
You will explore further into the unknown world and meet a man in a fancy jacket and a purple hat named Everett. Everett is a renowned scientist from Universe Zero and explains that you are indeed in another universe, and your simulation messed up his work. He allows you to tap into his powers to travel back and forth between universes to progress.
After a short sequence of events, you are now traveling with Everett as his assistant, aiding him on his journey to find the mysterious island that he has been trying to investigate. The story only gets deeper from that point, and you’ll unravel the mystery of the death of Ez, Everett’s assistant.
The gameplay is very straightforward; upon gaining access to Everett’s ability, you can now travel back and forth between universes to solve the puzzles that the game presents.
The puzzles range from easy to medium difficulty, and sometimes, you’ll be scratching your head through the intricacy of the challenges, but then you’ll realize that the solution is straightforward.
Along with the game, you’ll be tackling different and increasingly complex puzzles, and I honestly love the introduction of new mechanics that changes the way you solve puzzles completely. The game introduces new mechanics tied with the multiverse’s instability, which is a clever way of tying the game together. An example of this is the interference, wherein you can not switch to another dimension at certain segments, and you would have to rely on these black squares to switch dimensions.
There’s also an endless runner segment in the game. While this only occurred once, it adds a nice touch and break from the brain-busting puzzles you’ll encounter throughout the game. Even though I had to restart this segment a few times, I still found it fun and a refreshing experience.
The sound design is exceptional in this game. From the quirky and upbeat background music (BGM) to the sound effects of actions, it indeed is a treat to the ears and certainly brings back nostalgia as if you’re playing a classic SNES or Famicom game. Honestly, I’m the farthest fan of pixel-based games, but playing this game changed my perspective of these types of games.
It’s a humbling experience, especially looking at how the developers put so much effort into the sound department of What Lies In The Universe. With the light-hearted story and vibe of the whole game, having this excellent sound design is a nice icing on the cake.
Characters, Quirky Dialogue and Funny Writing
While playing the game and reading the dialogue, there were tons of moments where I laughed out loud. The whimsical conversations, the scenes, and even the contrasting characters bring the best out of the story and provide an enjoyable story-driven experience for players.
Although, on the surface, this would make the game’s story look shallow, trust me, it is not. Play through the game and uncover the story and character progression for yourself. I don’t want to involve spoilers here, but the story can get pretty dark after a certain point in the game.
Performance, Options, and Bugs On PC
Here are my PC specifications while playing the game:
- Ryzen 5 3600x 6-Cores, 12 Threads with stock speeds
- GALAX RTX 2060 6GB Vram
- 16 GB of DDR4 System Memory clocked at 3200MHz
- Windows 11 (64-bit)
- Lenovo G25-10, 144Hz, 1080p Gaming Monitor
Performance is stable and fantastic throughout the game, as expected for a pixel-based game. The game locks you into 60 frames per second, and you can not unlock the FPS as far as I know. During my eight hours of playthrough, I did not experience frame drops, stuttering, or even crashing (I’m looking at you, Elden Ring).
The settings for the game are straightforward; you have language, toggleable full screen, resolution, volume knobs, and controls. I played the whole game through the keyboard, which was alright, the default controls could use some tweaking, but it is still playable. I haven’t tried playing it on the controller. However, it seems promising as the developers included a vibration function.
The game is almost bug-free until you get to the second to the last section. There are instances where my keybinding for changing universes isn’t as responsive as I’d like to be. This mechanic is crucial, especially in that specific section, since it involves properly switching back and forth between universes promptly.
What Lies In The Universe is a fun, exciting, and reasonably short adventure and puzzle-filled game. It explores the idea of exploring multiverses and contains a light-hearted story with some dark surprises packed in.
I’m not a big fan of 8-bit, 16-bit, or any-bit games that offer nostalgia such as this. However, this game humbled me as I tried to reassess my judgment for these games and made me think that maybe I should go back to the pixel-based games that fascinated me as a child.
What Lies In The Universe releases on March 4, 2022, on Steam, Playstation 4 and 5, XBOX One, and the Nintendo Switch.
For more great and in-depth reviews such as these, check out these fantastic articles!
- Martha Is Dead Review: A Grotesque But Memorable Game
- ELEX II Review: A Sci-Fi RPG Planetary Mess
- Hero’s Hour Review: A Lightweight Sandbox RPG War Game
This review is based on the PC version of What Lies In The Multiverse. The key was provided by Untold Games.