Have you ever wanted to fight off waves of Beyblades inside a Toy ‘R’ Us while playing as a tiny action figure equipped with a laser rifle? Well, you might enjoy Hpyercharged: Unboxed.
Part Toy Story, part tower defense, part Horde mode, Hypercharged is a first-person-cooperative online shooter where you and some friends take on waves of enemy toys while defending energy stations. You can also play the game solo, but it is much harder alone as some levels separate the energy stations across large sections of the maps. Each wave of enemy toys can contain generic action figures, spinning tops that look a lot like Beyblades, creatures that look like Bogglins, flying UFOs, dinosaurs, toy tanks, and more.
The game was originally released for Switch earlier this year. But last week it was brought to PCs. I played this PC version, which looks wonderful and ran great on my modest gaming PC.
I’m a sucker for any game that lets me explore real-world locations as a tiny character. So within seconds of booting up Hypercharged, I was grinning from ear to ear. There are various locations including a hallway in a warehouse, a bathroom, a teenager’s bedroom and an arcade.
One of my favorite levels is set inside of a toy store that might remind you of a certain chain of stores featuring a giraffe as their mascot. The details are all there. Toy boxes are covered in labels and artwork. Bigger toys have warning labels. A lot of boxes even contain fake lore and character names. You can spend hours exploring some of these levels digging through all the hidden and tiny details. And doing that is actually a smart plan as each level is littered with weapon attachments, tokens, and hidden collectibles.
The basic gameplay loop has you breakout of your toy packaging and then you search around a map for tokens, which you use to buy defenses and upgrades to help protect your energy stations. After a few minutes a wave of enemies attacks. You fight them back, and then get another few minutes to search for more loot and build more defenses. It’s not a terribly new or fresh spin on this type of gameplay, but what is here is solid. Guns feel good, enemies react when you shoot them and movement is fast and snappy.
To help defend your stations you won’t just shoot evil toys. You also get to build defenses. But these aren’t just boring walls. Instead, you use other toys and real-world items to help protect your stuff. For example, you can build walls to guard your stations using blocks that look a lot like, but legally aren’t, LEGO bricks. You can use silly putty to slow enemies. You grab AA batteries and carry them around, using both arms because you are tiny, and use them to repair your energy stations.
My biggest issue with Hypercharged: Unboxed, beyond the clunky name, is the reliance on multiplayer to beat a lot of levels perfectly. I wish I could have some bots to help me if I want to play alone. I was able to quickly find some online games that had helpful and mostly quiet teammates, but smaller games like this tend to have smaller and less active player bases. So for solo players, you might find yourself months from now alone and unable to beat harder levels, depending on well this game sells.
But you can always invite a friend or two and kill some toys together. And playing with toys is always more fun with a bud.