Review – Curved Space

The last few games I reviewed from Maximum Games didn’t exactly impress me. Games like Beast Quest and Street Power Soccer were underwhelming licensed cash grabs that made me worry that this would be the publisher’s modus operandi from then on out. Thankfully, their latest release, Curved Space, doesn’t tick any of these boxes. Instead of a rushed licensed job, this is a simpler space shooter with a handful of neat gameplay elements to make it stand out from the bagillion other games in the genre.

Curved Space Lash

You can lash enemies onto pylons and also onto other enemies. It’s a nice concept, but it feels redundant in here.

Curved Space puts you in charge of an anti-grav spaceship with the main goal of getting rid of a space bug invasion in each level, as well as some additional objectives along the way. Things like powering up stations or modules, nothing that would be considered groundbreaking. What is groundbreaking, however, is the game’s level design. Its levels are either set on asteroids, planetoids (both of which feature anti-grav mechanics like the planetary exploration from Super Mario Galaxy), or space stations shaped after Mobius strips. This premise allows for some really confusing (in a good way) and creative levels, with the player having to occasionally traverse the upside down area of a station in order to look for a target or an enemy, which are always displayed with a trajectory arrow in case you get lost.

At first, you can carry two different types of weaponry, be them sniper shots, shotgun shells, lasers, a short-range cutter, and much more. You can fill up an overdrive bar, which once activated slows your movement down a tiny bit, but vastly increases your damage output and the velocity of your attacks. A nice tradeoff. The more you play the game, the more upgrades you’ll acquire for your ship, either in terms of passive buffs (stat increases, etc), being able to carry more weapons at once, and also brand new gameplay features. This last addition sounds good on paper, but in Curved Space‘s case, it might actually be one of its main flaws.

Curved Space Fred

I loved this boss battle, but I have no idea why the devs decided to name him “Fred”.

Simply put, Curved Space suffers from feature creep. I like that the game wants to offer as much content and as many features as it possibly can, but there comes a moment when enough is enough. The game won’t stop throwing new gameplay elements at you, most of which will only be used because a random objective will tell you to do so. For instance, the game allows you to “latch” onto enemies, throwing an electricity-based whip onto them, which can then either be tied to other enemies or energy pylons that can harvest their energy. You can also use a dash mechanic not only to run away from enemies, but also deflect their attacks if you time things correctly.

These are just two of the many mechanics thrown at you for the sake of giving players more toys to play with, but they go against the simplicity that should always reign in a space shooter. I ended up using the lashing mechanics only when the game told me so in order to complete an objective. The core combat mechanics are pretty good and hunting down foes in Mobius-esque contraptions is a lot of fun. However, these additional features, as well as the game’s occasional annoying focus on storytelling, only serve to slow its pace down.


Mario Galaxy with lasers.

Curved Space is best enjoyed outside of its campaign mode. This mode is riddled with a ton of terrible voicework and an emphasis on a plot I seriously couldn’t care less about. Meanwhile, the Arena and Survival modes showcase the game at its best, with tons of enemies to fight against and powerups to collect. I was legitimately impressed with how addictive these arcade-like modes ended up being, as they take advantage of the game’s crazy level designs to give you (and the enemy) chances to escape from harm thanks to anti-gravity.

Another thing I loved about the game was its soundtrack: a collection of adrenaline-pumping electronic beats that make everything sound way more tense and epic than it should. It is a bit exaggerated when compared to the game’s simplistic presentation (it is, in theory, a Series S/X game, but it looks like a Switch indie at best), but I loved how aggressive it is. It fits perfectly with any given moment when the game throws tons of enemies and particle effects at you. Mind you, the framerate never slows down a notch even when the screen is absolutely plastered with particles.


Curved Space shines the brightest when you’re just told to deal with hordes of enemies in Mobius-esque levels.

As it stands, Curved Space is a pretty good arcade shooter that manages to stand out even though it suffers from an annoying amount of feature creep. It didn’t need to feature such an emphasis on storytelling, nor did it need to have so many gameplay elements that are only used when an objective tells you to do so. With that being said, its core gameplay and arcade modes are so damn fun that I can’t help but recommend it to indie shooter enthusiasts. There’s more than enough quality content in here to make you ignore everything else that isn’t very enjoyable.


Graphics: 6.5

It barely puts next-gen consoles to the test with its simplistic visuals, even though its Mobius-like level design looks intriguing at times. It runs well, never skipping a single frame even when the screen is plastered with enemies and particle effects.

Gameplay: 7.0

The core concept of hunting down enemies in Mobius inspired or Mario Galaxy-esque levels is excellent. The combat is equally fun, and the controls are simple and responsive. The game does suffer from feature creep though, throwing a ton of unnecessary mechanics at you at all times.

Sound: 7.5

Curved Space might feature an insufferable amount of bland voice acting, but its electronic soundtrack more than makes up for this nuisance.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It suffers from feature creep and the most forgettable of stories, but Curved Space‘s concept and execution is pretty solid. Its arcade-centered modes are where the game shines the brightest.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Curved Space is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox Series S.

A copy of Curved Space was provided by the publisher.