Review – Invector: Rhythm Galaxy

 It is no secret that I love AVICII Invector both in its “normal” and VR forms, but I have always wondered if, due to the nature of the late DJ/producer Avicii being involved in that game’s development, Invector would remain a (great) one-and-done experience. There was a lot of potential for more, but as we all know, Avicii died way too soon, leaving a small library of songs at the disposal of the developers. Upon finding out about Invector: Rhythm Galaxy, I felt a bit conflicted. I was somewhat skeptical about making an “Avicii-less” sequel, even though that game had ended up being a tribute to the late musician. At the same time, this was exactly what I wanted (the core gameplay from Invector, but with a more varied soundtrack), so I was still eager to try it out.

Invector: Rhythm Galaxy Visuals

What is this, a Dune crossover?

In terms of its gameplay, Invector: Rhythm Galaxy maintains the same control scheme and loop popularized by its Avicii-themed predecessors. In short, you have to switch between pressing your controller’s face buttons, the L1/LB button, as well as the left and right directional buttons in order to adjust your ship according to the position of the notes onscreen. As previously mentioned in my AVICII Invector review, this is a mix between DJ Hero and Audiosurf, which is somewhat easy to pick up and play, but absolutely chaotic in harder difficulties.

To be fair, I wasn’t particularly worried with the gameplay side of Invector: Rhythm Galaxy. Even though I have my slight complaints with the difficulty curve, I don’t think changing the control scheme or gameplay loop would have been an intelligent choice. It’s already part of what makes these games appealing in the first place. A brand new UI also helped clean out the visuals, even though the game, for the most part, looks way too similar to its predecessors. I was eager to check out the game’s setlist.

Invector: Rhythm Galaxy UI

Even if it fills up the screen quite a bit, I liked the completely revamped UI.

Lo and behold, this setlist is actually excellent. I am usually worried when indie developers try to make a rhythm game with a licensed soundtrack because, more often than not, they don’t have a budget large enough to cover the licensing costs for massive hits from famous artists. If they do, they usually include one or two famous tunes and complete the setlist with a bunch of unknown filler. Invector: Rhythm Galaxy is not one of those games. The developers at Hello There Games partnered up with the Warner Music Group, resulting in a sizeable setlist full of songs from all genres.

The vast majority of the songs are already available from the get-go. As to be expected, a chunk of the setlist is still comprised of EDM (including music by Tiësto), but there is also a wide assortment of rock (Paramore, Royal Blood, Linkin Park), britpop (Paolo Nutini, Liam Gallagher), Motown classics (“I’ll Be Around” by The Spinners), modern pop (Charli XCX, Charlie Puth), K-pop (“Cupid” by Fifty-Fifty), and even artists from the 80s and 90s (Maná, Duran Duran). What I liked the most about this setlist, besides the variety, was the fact that you could actually unlock more in-game songs by playing a neat little campaign mode.

Invector: Rhythm Galaxy Setlist

Well crap, I’m about to cry while playing the game.

The campaign mode is actually a linear sequence of songs, occasionally interrupted by a monstrously forgettable plot. I will be honest, I simply did not care about it at all. Invector: Rhythm Galaxy works so well as an arcadey experience, to the point that any wall of text between me and the next song felt like an unnecessarily hurdle. It wasn’t a jaw-dropping experience, but I did appreciate the occasional detour from the critical path, where I would be gifted with a new song (the aforementioned Maná inclusion is actually an unlockable) and also new playable ships, given out to the player upon beating a harder song under specific parameters.

Local multiplayer, with up to four players on the same screen, is also a highlight, though I cannot say this feels right on a PC. I appreciate the inclusion, but I feel like this will be a much more interesting selling point for the upcoming console ports of Invector: Rhythm Galaxy, which still don’t have a release date. As of now, the game is a PC-exclusive, and this feature just isn’t very interesting for this specific platform.

Invector: Rhythm Galaxy Neon Visuals

Neon-drenched bliss.

The Invector series may have started as a tribute to a specific artist who had actually been part of its development, but I cannot deny that Invector: Rhythm Galaxy is the perfect follow-up for these games (as controversial as the idea for an Avicii-less sequel may sound), as well as the obvious next step for the franchise. It’s easily one of the best rhythm games released in recent memory, combining a fun and intuitive gameplay loop with an expertly curated setlist. There are only forty tracks available as of now, though, and I don’t know how Hello There Games will proceed to improve it in the future. Will Invector: Rhythm Galaxy feature DLC packs? Eventually, will it get some free songs? Will they just focus on a sequel? That remains to be seen. As long as they keep on delivering these bangers, I’ll be happy.


Graphics: 9.0

Whilst the visuals are still gorgeous, and the new UI is pleasing to the eyes, a lot of the assets feel like were taken straight from AVICII Invector.

Gameplay: 8.0

The gameplay hasn’t changed at all since the release of AVICII Invector. It’s still really fun and intuitive, but completely chaotic in higher difficulties.

Sound: 9.5

A much more varied and well-curated setlist with some impressive bangers. From Royal Blood’s hard rock to Charlie Puth’s pop, there’s something for everyone.

Fun Factor: 9.0

It keeps the winning formula from the Avicii-focused Invector game, but with a wider selection of songs from all kinds of genres, as well as a story mode and local multiplayer. I wish the setlist was just a little bit bigger, but as it stands, Invector: Rhythm Galaxy is yet another hit by Hello There Games.

Final Verdict: 9.0

Invector: Rhythm Galaxy is available now on PC.

Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.

A copy of Invector: Rhythm Galaxy was provided by the publisher.