UBERMOSH:BLACK, the second in the UBERMOSH series by Walter Machado is a kickass retro-style top-down twin-stick (ex: Hotline Miami, Nuclear Throne) arcade-style action game. Its gameplay consists of reflecting enemy bullets with a blade and shooting enemies with various guns. You play as The Blade Saint, a mysterious character of unknown origin sent to kill the different enemies that are randomly generated within the arena.
You spawn with just a sword, but every enemy drops a firearm that can come in 4 different varieties. It’s up to you to choose which you keep, but be careful, UBERMOSH uses Contra rules and will replace your current weapon with the one you’ve just walked over. Caution is key in this game, but exercising too much without enough action can get you killed.
Unlike its indie twin-stick compatriots, such as Hotline Miami or Enter the Gungeon, UBERMOSH is completely devoid of any form of story or background. The most the audience learns about this world is via the chanting song in the tutorial level. With no ending to speak of, the only motivator is seeing your high score get larger and larger.
This game takes place in a single arena with the main purpose of learning the layout of the map and developing strategies to take down the randomly spawning incoming waves of enemies. Although the lack of stage diversity can be a turn-off for some players, the gameplay loop is immensely satisfying, and watching as you become more skilled at the game gives a tangible sense of progression.
Getting higher scores and unlocking achievements makes all the hard work feel worth it. Enemies are brutal and it takes countless tries to learn their patterns and master the timing for parries and shots, but with enough practice, it becomes second nature.
The presentation in UBERMOSH:BLACK is second-to-none, with metal music tracks comparable to legends like Mick Gordon and sharp, visceral, pixel art with fluid animations. The art-style is grungy and lives up to the title’s implications.
In order to shake up the gameplay, UBERMOSH employs a “class mod” system. This gives players the choice between five styles. For example, the default gives The Saint four lives and a screenwipe after 60 kills, while Kensai allows the player to have six lives and the massive attack after only 55 kills, but with the drawback of not being able to utilize guns in combat. This system boosts the replayability tremendously, and the added challenge is fun to surmount. Some achievements are locked behind these class mods, which encourages experimentation. Quite a few times I was gunning for an achievement that required a specific class mod and found out that I really enjoyed playing with that style.
The game is only $1.99/£1.79 at the time of this review and is well-worth the price of admission. However, BLACK is only the 2nd game, and there are a total of 8 in the series. It may behoove you to do some additional research to see which is the most appealing to you and your tastes. As stated previously, UBERMOSH doesn’t have any sort of campaign or multiplayer, so the main emphasis is topping your own and your friends’ scores. If that simple approach doesn’t interest you, this is definitely not the game for you. But if you want a bloody and badass twin-stick shooter to sink your teeth into to kill time, this is one of the best.
- Addicting and infinitely replayable
- Visceral visuals and sensational soundtrack
- Incredibly low price of entry considering the polish
- Simply one stage
- One randomly dropped firearm basically required for high scores
- Lack of any narrative or background information preceding the action