MindSeize from Kamina Dimension and First Press Games is a fast-paced 2D sci-fi Metroidvania now out on Nintendo Switch. Check out our MindSeize review!
Indie studio Kamina Dimension first took 2D Metroidvania MindSeize to Kickstarter back in 2018. Even though it managed to secure the support of over 140 backers, the project did not reach its main funding goal. The team carried on working on the game, and in 2019 gave it another shot with a revamped project, a new Kickstarter campaign, and by deciding to bring the game to the Nintendo Switch. More than 780 backers jumped in to pledge for the crowdfunding project, and along with the support of publisher First Press Games – who is also doing a physical version for Nintendo Switch – the game has now finally released for Nintendo’s console.
You take on the role of private investigator M.C. Fox who is after a dangerous criminal organization called The Ascended. This group has been taking over the minds of many individuals through the universe, hence the game’s name. When M.C. Fox manages to confront the leader of The Ascended, he’s gravely injured, rendering him crippled. To make matters worse, the mind of his daughter has also been seized by The Ascended. It’s because of this that he makes a difficult choice: downloading his mind to the robotic MAC – the Mind-Action-Gear. With MAC and the aid of his crew, M.C. Fox sets out to find his daughter and to defeat The Ascended once and for all.
You will control MAC with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the B button and shooting with the Y button. Since this is a Metroidvania, there might be a need to aim diagonally to target some opponents, which you can do immediately by pressing and holding down the L button. There’s also a melee attack mapped to the X button. You will have a powerful grenade attack you can use with the A button, as well as a dash that will allow you clear bigger gaps, or to put some distance between yourself and your enemies. There will be an option to heal to recover some of the health you’ve lost by pressing the R button, as long as you have any nanobots left to do this. Nanobots are limited, so you’ll need to craft more at save points. The ZL button is a special trigger that will activate, for instance, a power attack when you use the Y button, which will use up some of your energy.
As you defeat the many deadly enemies you will battle, you will be able to collect scrap. Scrap will act as the in-game currency, which means it can be put to good use at the workshop to upgrade the MAC so that you can keep up with the increasing difficulty, so that you can battle against the more powerful monsters you will find. You could add Ranged Special Attacks to use with the ZL button. You might want to invest in a Shield Stabilizer, which removes flinching and knockback when you receive damage. Or how about you invest in an expensive but very useful Scrap Magnet, which will automatically collect all nearby scrap left by enemies? Different characters will offer different things to upgrade, on top of what you can upgrade at the save points that offer a travel unit.
Exploration is key, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your minimap in the upper right corner of the screen, which will fill up automatically as you move from area to area. Each section in a location will also be color-coded, so that you can be ware of when you’re crossing from one part onto a new spot. If you want to get a better look at the map, then just pause the action with the + button so that you can see everything you’ve uncovered – while also getting a handy percentage displayed on the bottom right of the screen to show you your overall progress. And as you meet and defeat new enemies in each location you visit, they will get an entry in your Log. Pause the game and switch tabs with the ZL and ZR buttons to reach the Log tab, where you can review some additional information for each creature and mechanical unit you find.
Metrodvanias are known for having many areas that players won’t be able to explore until they have obtained the required power-up that will boost their skills. First on that list will be the dash skill I mentioned earlier, which will allow you to quickly slide forward while being able to pass through narrow passages. A bit later you will gain some boots that will make it possible to wall jump, which will greatly expand what areas you can explore. There are more power-ups in your future, that will keep things interesting from start to finish.
MindSeize is a solid effort from Kamina Dimension and First Press Games on Nintendo Switch, with a good Metroidvania that definitely does the genre justice, with an addictive gameplay loop and a good variety of locations to visit and enemies to find. I did run into a couple of bugs along the way that forced me to reset the game to carry on, but luckily I had recently saved on both occasions. MindSeize is out on Nintendo Switch with a $23.99 asking price.
This MindSeize review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by First Press Games.