We're looking for new writers to join us!

Hypercharge: Unboxed

Hypercharge: Unboxed

Written by Nathan Carter on 5/31/2024 for XSX  
More On: Hypercharge: Unboxed

When I was a kid I played with a ton of action figures. I had Army Men, GI Joe, WWE action figures, Mortal Kombat action figures, Power Rangers...the list goes on. Not to mention playsets like that Medieval castle with the dungeon and the cannon that shot rocks out of it. Of course this was also the time period when movies like Toy Story and Small Soldiers were released in theaters. A lot of wars were raged in my living room and I was only limited by my own imagination. I think almost everyone has toys like this and can remember the times when they were a kid where their imagination went wild and felt like gods controlling the fates of all the figures in their collections. Hypercharge: Unboxed is a game that made me flashback to my childhood, and I'm sure others that have played this game will probably feel the same way. This is one of the coolest idea for a game I have seen in a while and it's also one of the most fun. 

Right from the main menu I just had the biggest smile on my face. Seeing the character selection screen and seeing all the different action figures that you can select as your playable character. Of course they are all fictional and not based on any actual IPs, but you can see the influence for a lot of these, from a She-Ra-style Valkyrie character to GI Joe-style ninjas, Lizard and Bears and more. Each character has a lot of different weapon skins and normal skins but they are locked at the start. There are also a number of different heads you can put on the figures with different headgear and armor. 

The game includes a number of game modes, but the main one is the tower defense mode and also a single player campaign. You can select any of the action figures and the rest of the team will be filled out with AI controlled bots. Everyone starts the match by breaking out of their packaging and starts with the same weapon, but this is one of those attention to detail things that I really love about this game. The packaging for each character will remain on the map and acts as a store as you will see various weapon attachments zip-tied to the box-like accessories for the action figure. You can also sometimes find weapons on the map itself and there is everything from sniper rifles, mini-guns, shotguns, a flame thrower, missile launchers and more.

Each round starts with you collecting coins and setting up your defenses around each power core and these defenses include Lego towers, glue traps, barbed wire, turrets and more, all in their plastic glory and resembling toys you may have had as a kid. The goal is to protect your power cores on the map from being destroyed and can be powered up by finding actual AA batteries from around the map and inserting them into the core. Speaking of toys you may of had as a kid, once the round starts you will be invaded in all directions by various evil toys like army men, Power Ranger-style action figures, Beyblades, helicopters, robots, aliens and many more. Teamwork is key here, as they will attack each of the power cores on the map, so it's a good idea to have each teammate stay near a core and protect that area. Each map usually consists of three to four rounds, and sometimes you will get a boss fight. Boss fights are not as fun as the normal enemies, mainly because of how bullet spongey they are and some of them take way too long to takedown. 

The most important part of the gameplay, the guns and the shooting, work very well. My only issue is that your characters feel very heavy, especially when it comes to traversal. You can jump and double jump, but it really feels like your character is a brick when jumping. Jumping and trying to grab onto ledges or traverse the area from jumping from a window sill to a trash can to a cabinet can is easier said than done at times. It's not completely game-breaking and it doesn't ruin the fun but it can get annoying at times, especially where there are levels where you start high up on shelves or an air hockey table and you can't touch the ground or else you die. Thankfully, there are jump pads around the map that will launch you up to the higher areas so for the most part it's easy to get around the map. It's when you start searching around for hidden collectibles, weapons, or coins where you have to make precise jumps, which can be a pain to nail down. 

There is also a lot of replayability in the game. Each level has it's own set of sub-missions and objectives to complete, such as flushing the toilet in the bathroom, breaking a mirror, finding hidden collectibles, finding all the coins and more. Completing these objectives will earn you a better score and more medals for each level. Some of these objectives can also unlock cosmetic items like new skins, weapons skins, heads and more for your action figures. The levels are fun enough to play repeatedly, and there are four different difficulty settings to try as well. Finally, there is a free play mode and this is great because I have had fun just exploring these levels. From a child's bedroom, a bathroom, toy store, department store hallways, an arcade, a backyard, all these environments are so perfectly crafted and include a lot of hidden Easter eggs and collectibles and just bring back so many memories of when you were a kid and the world seemed so much larger than it actually is. You can see all of the love and passion that went into each of these areas, and what's even more impressive is that this game was made by a small team of developers but this game doesn't feel like a low budget title. 

The main tower defense mode can be played single player with bots, split screen co-op or online co-op. There are also some PVP modes like Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Infection and more. I played a couple of these, but it seems that even with cross play on, not that many people are playing these modes online. I didn't have any trouble finding any games in the PVE modes, so it seems that's what most people are playing. I didn't have any lag or connection issues playing these PVE online modes either. There is also one other game mode which I couldn't play called "party mode" with two games to play including a tank battle. These modes are local only so since I didn't have anyone else to play with I couldn't try them out but it's nice to see a lot of variety in the game and enough content to keep players coming back for a while.

There is so much love and passion put into this game. Playing Hypercharge: Unboxed brought back memories. I'm sure many others that played this game that played with action figures as a kid, limited only by our own imaginations as epic battles and wars took place in our living rooms and bedrooms. Small Soldiers is one of my favorite movies of all time and this basically being a videogame version of that movie is the chefs kiss. This game is a lot of fun and I can see myself adding this game to the rotation of online games that I boot up when I need to blow off some steam. I know there have been various games based on Toy Story and Small Soldiers in the past but this game feels like the true adaptation of those properties, with or without the license. 

A little rough around the edges with traversal but there is so much charm and fun with this game that I can easily overlook the negatives. Each level is like a trip down memory lane and reminds me of when I had epic battles that left a complete mess of my bedroom, living room and more. With lots of replayability and fun game play, Hypercharged: Unboxed will be one of those surprise hits for me of the year. A game I didn't even know existed that ended up being one of my favorites of the year. 

Rating: 8.5 Very Good

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

Hypercharge: Unboxed Hypercharge: Unboxed Hypercharge: Unboxed Hypercharge: Unboxed Hypercharge: Unboxed Hypercharge: Unboxed Hypercharge: Unboxed Hypercharge: Unboxed Hypercharge: Unboxed

About Author

I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. My earliest gaming memories come from playing Lady Bug and Snafu on my fathers Colecovision and Intellivision respectively.  It wasnt until I was 6 years old and played a Mortal Kombat 2 arcade machine in a game room at a hotel that I truly fell in love with a videogame. I have so many wonderful memories of my dad and I playing Mortal Kombat on SNES every night after dinner. Throughout my childhood NES, SNES, Gameboy and Sega Genesis were the loves of my life. Here I am 35 years old and still as much in love with videogames as I ever was. 

View Profile