Infini – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle game
Developer: Barnaque
Publisher: nakana.io
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: Switch

Infini – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Gameplay has that "one more try" feeling
Bad: Aesthetics are questionable
User Score
7.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Infini joined nakana.io’s stable of Switch releases this month. We’ve looked at the other nakana.io titles like EQQO and Lydia, and found that they are less about deep gameplay and more about delivering a thought-provoking message. Infini is supposedly cut from the same cloth, but looking at the screenshots made us think that this game would be quite different from the other titles. Read on if you want to know just how different Infini is.

Story

Explaining the story of Infini isn’t an easy task, as there is very little sense to be found here. Supposedly, the game offers a deep and rich emotional story, where concepts like Hope, Time, and Poetry have taken on a tangible shape. The blurb on the eshop page explains that as Hope drifts deeper into Infinity, Reality begins to suffer. With no way out, and Hope by nature doomed to carry on, it’s up to you, the player, to challenge your mind and help Hope out. If that description didn’t make any sense to you, then don’t worry, it didn’t make any sense to us either. Even playing through the game, we found it difficult to make sense of it all, and the game ends up feeling like a trippy mishmash of random events.

The game’s cutscenes show Hope as he meets up with a bizarre cast of characters that embody the aforementioned concepts. Some of these make sense: Memory is an elephant, for example, because elephants never forget. We haven’t quite figured out all of the cast though: we’re still scratching our heads and wondering why Poetry is a dog. The game also keeps reminding us of an incident that supposedly happened x number of days ago, with the number changing as the player progresses through the game. There is little point in trying to make sense of it all, however, so we recommend just embracing the absurdity and going with it. 

Graphics

The graphics are probably what will draw most people’s attention here. Admittedly, the game isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing when it comes to its visuals. Everything seems cobbled together, with crude drawings and generic backgrounds juxtaposed against one another. Somehow, however, this smorgasbord of ugliness meshes together way better than one would realistically expect once you’re actually playing the game. Of course, your mileage may vary on this, and we expect that Infini’s art style is actually affecting its appeal to the majority of its potential audience. We can’t fault the game for taking a risk here by being so different but we can’t fault gamers either for skipping this game purely based on aesthetics. 

Sound

The game’s soundtrack comprises 20 songs, although they sound very similar for the most part. Just like the graphics and story, Infini sticks with a trippy strangeness when it comes to its music. Most of this music is very low key as it attempts to emphasize the absurdity that is happening on screen. 

Gameplay

Infini wastes no time with tutorials or explanations and wants you to figure things out on your own. Your goal is to guide Hope through a series of increasingly complicated obstacle courses. These courses all comprise a single screen, and if Hope moves off the screen on one side, he’ll reappear on the opposing side. The key is in figuring out where to move off-screen and where Hope will reappear. Hope is continuously in motion, slowly falling towards the bottom of the screen, and the obstacles you’ll need to avoid are often moving as well, so timing is important. As you progress through the stages, you’ll unlock the ability to slow down or speed up Hope, as well as zoom in and out, manipulating the stages in the process.

It’s all easier than it sounds, as the game attempts to trick your senses. Nothing seems like an exact science in this game, which is probably a deliberate choice by developer Barnaque. There’s seemingly a random element in play here, where Hope will reappear just the tiniest fraction away from where you’d expect him to, meaning that you can’t just memorize the stages and expect to be able to clear the game effortlessly. It’s a very unforgiving game as well: the slightest mistake means it’s game over. Fortunately, none of the stages take very long to complete, and you’ll be able to restart them instantly at the press of a button. Given that the game has that “one more try” feeling once you get into it, being able to give the stage another try quickly is a really welcome feature. 

With over 100 stages, the game is decidedly longer than the other nakana.io titles, yet it feels much lighter on content, simply because it doesn’t linger with you in the same way as their other titles do. The gameplay, while not very deep, is engaging, however. Infini is likely going to be “that weird game” that you’d show your friends and laugh at how strange everything is for a few minutes. We also expect it to be a very polarizing title, that people will either love or hate, mostly based on aesthetics. If you’re interested in the game but aren’t sure whether you are willing to commit, you can give the demo a try, something we highly recommend. 

Conclusion

We’ve spent quite a lot of time with Infini and we’re still not sure what to think of it. It’s a game that feels like it’s being weird for the sake of it. Chances are that you’ve already decided whether or not this game is up your alley based purely on how it looks. We’d generally recommend not judging a book by its cover, but Infini’s insides are just as weird as its outwards appearance. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Infini - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Sebastiaan Raats
Sebastiaan Raats


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