I think most of us would revel in the idea of living in the multiverse and recent studies have shown that that may be the case. Of course, that doesn't mean we're anywhere close to visiting parallel worlds, but knowing that they're there brings us one step closer to it. The idea of traveling between dimensions and exploring other universes has been covered in so many pieces of media from Rick And Morty to What Lies In The Multiverse. The latter is a game brought to us by Studio Voyager and Igunabee who put us in the role of a curious kid who just wants to see what realities are out there.
The Reality Of The Situation
The biggest mystery of the multiverse is how it's structured and whether it would be possible to study it. It's this very mystery that drives the story of What Lies In The Multiverse further. You play as a kid simply referred to as Kid, who is spending all their time in their room attempting to create a program that can accurately simulate different realities. It works too well and the Kid ends up transported to another universe which draws the attention of a dimensional traveler named Everett. After the Kid learns that Everett is on a journey across the universe to fix problems with its stability, they eagerly join as his new assistant. Having a sort of Back To The Future feel, the story takes off with you in tow.
A Bon Voyage
When going on a trip, especially across dimensions, you want to make sure that you're prepared so that the trip is as smooth as can be. What Lies In The Multiverse does many things to ensure safe travels. One of these things is how it presents its aesthetics. It's a 2D platformer with sharp pixel art in characters and background. The universes you visit each have their own energy and the characters have some dynamic animation. What really adds to this is the music which has a very distinct sound that shifts suddenly and noticeably between dimensions.
This leads to the main puzzle mechanics of the game. Though you're just a kid accompanying an interdimensional traveler, you gain access to his power fairly early on. With the press of a button, you can swap between dimensions changing the properties of your surroundings and the conditions of objects. Combined with the simple controls you'll learn early on, this creates a nice blend of level design and gameplay.
After all this, there's a very strong narrative component. There's a lot of time spent developing all the characters you meet and how they evolve throughout the story. The writing is a combination of wacky humor and serious drama that seem to blend into each other. You'll find yourself caring for the cast and hoping for the best outcome.
A Bad Trip
No one wants to expensive a trip that goes south very quickly with no way to brace for impact. Although What Lies In The Multiverse is about traveling, there are a few things that bring a downer to the whole experience. The first is the difficulty of the puzzles. Though the mechanics make getting through each of the chapters entertaining, there's not much challenge to it. After the first couple of sections, you'll quickly be able to figure out the solution before you even gain control of the Kid.
This isn't helped by the limitations of the universe switching mechanic. Whenever you enter a new chapter, you'll find yourself in different surroundings and a new universe to access in order to make it through. The problem is that you only ever get access to two universes at a time. While this allows for familiarity to develop in each chapter, it can get stale quickly. It also doesn't help that there isn't a sequence that gives you access to all the dimensions so you can test your skills and make it to a well-earned conclusion.
Let's Get Real
What Lies In The Multiverse is a 2D platformer about a Kid accompanying an interdimensional traveler across universes as they seek to stop things from falling apart. It has wonderful aesthetics, an entertaining sincere narrative, and a fun universe-switching mechanic. Sadly, it lacks difficulty while restraining universes you can access throughout the game. Despite that, the reality is that this game will take you on an enjoyable and meaningful romp across realities.
TechRaptor reviewed What Lies In The Multiverse on Nintendo Switch with a copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox One.
- Nice pixel art and animation with a dynamic music
- A quick and interesting universe-switching mechanic
- A combination of amusing and sincere writing
- A lack of increasing challenge in the puzzles
- Severe limitations on the number of universes you can visit at any given time