Top Critic Average
But, it is brevity that becomes the Achilles heel to Semispheres, an otherwise remarkable puzzle experience that is over in a few, short hours. However, I would still argue that it should be seen as time well spent that you won’t necessarily be demanding back anytime soon, but, with so much competition in the genre on Nintendo Switch now, there are other puzzlers on the Nintendo eShop that many will arguably feel that they can get more for their money from.
Semispheres is a short but sweet title with a simple aesthetic that belies a surprisingly complex set of puzzles. Controlling two characters simultaneously takes a fair amount of dexterity, which can at times be more of a challenge than the puzzles themselves. Despite this, there is some clever design on display here with some devilish levels and multiple abilities to utilise. You'll likely be done with it within a few hours or so, but if you're after a neat little game to play in short bursts on the go, Semispheres is worth a look.
Semispheres promises quite a lot but doesn't deliver the whole lot. That doesn't mean it's not a competent work, far from it – it's a very relaxing game with a fine difficulty curve and for those looking for a quick break, it will seem even better...but it could go further and bring a greater, more rewarding challenge and that's what's missing here.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Overall then, Semispheres is a wonderful puzzle game with some incredibly clever level designs that will leave you stumped at times, a tricky but enjoyable twin-stick system, and a beautifully designed world with pleasing visuals and sound. A couple of things let the experience down slightly and the whole thing can be completed in under three hours, so it isn't a bargain for the asking price, but you'll definitely find enjoyment in getting to grips with the puzzles and character movement. A great buy for puzzle fans and a potential pleaser for everyone else too, Semispheres is certainly one to consider.
For an independent production, Semispheres is a pretty good surprise from Vivid Helix. The whole dual control concept and ingenious puzzles will give you an entertaining but sadly short experience on the Nintendo Switch.
The bottom line is if you are looking for a game you can pick up when you have 15 minutes or two hours to spare, look no further. There's no gear grind, there's no falling behind if you don't play for a day or a week and the mechanics are easy enough that you don't have to start over if you take too much time off. It has become part of my evening routine before going to sleep and with plenty of levels to burn through, it's safe to say it's there to stay.
Apart from unnecessary narrative and simultaneous action-oriented stray deviations, Semispheres deploys its half stealthy / half puzzling mechanics to their full extent, more easily experienced with a second player thanks to the Joy-Con.
Review in French | Read full review
Whether or not you decide to take the plunge with Semispheres will really come down to whether you’re in search of a relatively humble but enjoyable collection of puzzles that will occupy most people for several hours depending on your relative skills. Even as a puzzle game fan at no point did it feel like a “been there, done that” situation that can commonly happen with games that have little ambition. In the case of Semispheres it all began with a great base idea and that expanded into something charming and fun that you can enjoy for a while.
What Semispheres lacks in quantity it more than makes up for it with quality. It's entirely possible to get through every puzzle in just a few short hours, but a reasonably high skill threshold and thought-provoking design ensure the experience remains memorable from start to finish. By having each Joy-Con correspond with each sphere, multiplayer is incredibly natural and comfortable. For that alone, the Switch port comes off as the definitive version. With a truly meditative ambience and stellar puzzle design, Semispheres can be enjoyed in blissful solitude just as much as in the company of a good friend.
Still, if you want to sit back and relax with your Switch, Semispheres is an enjoyable and serene puzzler that is both soothing and tough. The lack of overall meat to the game is a little disappointing, but the ride is very much worthwhile as long as you're okay with a shorter-than-expected time.