Ge­om­e­try pours

Op art col­lides with Trea­sure for ab­stract shmup Myr­iad


What you’ll find sit­ting at roughly the in­ter­sec­tion of Rez, Ho­hokum and

Pix­elJunk Eden on a Venn di­a­gram is Er­lend Gref­s­rud’s Myr­iad. Each stark, ab­stract level in this top-down shooter is ex­panded as you de­stroy the en­e­mies that pop­u­late it, fallen ag­gres­sors burst­ing into a new piece of cir­cu­lar space for you to pa­trol, but also call­ing in re­in­force­ments. Build up enough of these spa­tial me­mo­ri­als and you can det­o­nate over­lap­ping cir­cles to cause chain re­ac­tions – if you hit a set quota, you’ll get points, new or up­graded weapons, and be­gin a new round.

“Ev­ery round makes a dif­fer­ent level, like a kind of player-cen­tric pro­ce­dural gen­er­a­tion, and dif­fer­ent weapons and playstyles make for dif­fer­ent lev­els, too,” Gref­s­rud says.

The num­ber of en­e­mies on­screen spi­rals up­wards as you build out, en­sur­ing that it’s in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to hone the place­ment of each cir­cle.

“Myr­iad al­ways co­a­lesces in a great com­ing apart where all the trou­ble you’ve made for your­self just yields and be­comes a beat-matched fire­works dis­play,” Gref­s­rud says. “The den­sity and vi­vac­ity of the art de­pends on the player’s abil­ity to han­dle com­plex­ity. The more con­fi­dently you play, the more grace­ful your arcs, the big­ger your chain re­ac­tions, the bolder the com­po­si­tions and denser the im­agery when it reaches a head.”

While Gref­s­rud has yet to fix a re­lease date, Myr­iad will be com­ing to PS4, Vita and Steam.

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