(content warning: mention of suicide.)
My tastes in music are… rather eclectic. If you’ve ever been a longtime reader of the site, you’ve probably had me write about some of the weirdest stuff and sometimes finding good stuff in them. I end up picking up soundtracks a lot because of the licensed music. Hell, while I may not talk about it a lot on the site here, I really enjoy rhythm games. So when I saw a rhythm game based on one of the most notable EDM artists out there, I had to give it a try, even if I never heard of him before playing it.
Avicii Invector is a rhythm game developed by Hello There Productions, a small developer based out of Gothenburg, Sweden. Originally released in 2017 on the PS4 as simply Invector, the game was updated and re-released in 2019 to more prominently feature the artist whose music was used in it, Avicii. Avicii is the stage name of Tim Bergling, a Swedish EDM musician who was a major worldwide success, releasing two major albums and a few EPs in his lifetime.
Tragically, Avicii committed suicide in 2018 at the young age of 28. In the years that followed, there’s been work released posthumously, an Avicii museum in Stockholm, Sweden, and his family launching The Tim Bergling Foundation, a mental health/suicide awareness charity, in his honor.
I grabbed this game on a cheap discount on Fanatical, a digital discount storefront. Since I’m a fan of rhythm games – glancing at the hundreds of dollars I’ve spent on Rock Band and Guitar Hero stuff over the past decade – I figured I could probably enjoy this game even with only knowing Avicii as “a guy who has a game dedicated to his music.”
The story is rather barebones: A female ship pilot has to send things to various planets, while blasting the songs of Avicii to get from planet to planet. These cutscenes play every few songs, and while they’re mostly non-contextual, they bring a bit of life to the game’s overall feel. After all, if you’re a rhythm game, you either play it super-serious like a Rock Band or you go full over-the-top like a good chunk of the Guitar Hero games did, so for Hello There Games to go for the latter route is a wise call.
Avicii Invector plays rather simply: Press buttons in time with the music for points and to build a combo. While most of the time you’ll be pressing the face buttons, sometimes you’ll also need to hit either shoulder button for lines that are on the track. Changing lanes is handled with the left stick. Higher difficulties add more buttons to press and a lot more lane shifting, which can be quite disorienting if you’re not used to it. Much like most modern rhythm games, if one hits enough notes, they can activate a booster with the triggers which doubles score for a brief time.
While I’m used to games like Rock Band where it’s less about timing and more about making sure you hit the notes, Avicii Invector takes its cues from games like Dance Dance Revolution, where hitting notes right on time gets more points and a bigger combo. This took a bit for me to get used to, but thankfully the timing seems to be rather generous, even with that little gameplay quirk.Continue reading…