Games have been plastered with warnings since Mortal Kombat invented spine removal as a feature. Most warnings suggest parental guidance and hope to inspire the player to be informed about what they are about to play. When the indie game Dyad warns you not to play if there is a possibility that flashing lights could cause you to have a seizure, it is serious. Do not play this game if that is a possibility.
Dyad is an audio and visual explosion. The game is hard to pin down but the best description I can give is a sort of racing game that takes place on the interior of a cylinder. There are a lot of rule sets that change up on each level but the core game play involves the player piloting a glowing avatar along the inside of a tube and dodging as well as collecting different enemies and objects.
The game seems extremely intimidating at first with all its bright lights and fast game play. Watching a video of the later levels in Dyad would’ve been enough to scare me away from playing this all together. The magical thing about how the game is designed is how the entire experience is a sort of long form tutorial.
The game is broken down in several chapters each with around 4-7 levels within them. Each large chapter introduces one or two new key concepts and uses the levels within it to allow the player to explore and get a good grasp on these concepts. Once the later levels of the game are reached most of the decisions being made by the player are second nature and this allows for focus on making decisions based on the new concepts that have been introduced.
All that is a long way of saying this game is superbly designed. As someone who has never been exceptional at bullet hell shooters or high speed racing games, (both of which have influences here) I felt I would be awful at Dyad. The way the game takes its time introducing its concepts however really allowed me to build up my skills. I won’t be high on the leader boards for this one anytime soon but I had several amazing moments where I was able to gel with the game and really feel that desired flow.
That’s what this game is all about; flow. In certain levels after getting just enough experience with the systems I really clicked with the experience and felt a rush like I was kicking into hyper drive. The sensory overload gets you so drawn in that getting into a good groove in a level both allows you to play more relaxed and also is extremely exhilarating. This is an experience that only becomes more common when replaying levels.
This is a game meant to be played more than once. In fact after completing each level the player unlocks remix challenges that slightly alter the game play to create even more interesting challenges to experience. All these amazing features create a truly unique experience that is a feast for your eyes and ears.
Dyad is a perfectly refined experience that delivers exactly what it attempts. It is an exhilarating roller coaster of light & sound that can win over any type of gamer. I recommend Dyad to anyone who wants a wholly original gaming experience.