It's rare for a crowdfunded game to have a working prototype at the start of its campaign, and even rarer for it to be especially impressive. Indivisible bucks both trends and becomes the rare of the rare by making a surprisingly expansive prototype available, free for download, at the start of its Indiegogo campaign.
Using cartoon graphics that look like they're inspired by Japanese anime, Indivisible bears some artistic resemblance to Skullgirls (Lab Zero's all-female fighting game). However, Indivisible is a side-scrolling action RPG, with inspirations taken from games like Valkyrie Profile and Super Metroid. It follows a young girl named Ajna, who is skilled in martial arts, and has a unique talent for absorbing certain individuals into her being, then summoning these Incarnations into battle alongside her.
These Incarnation include an archer named Zebei, a shamaness named Razmi, and Tungar, who has a long ribbon-like whip sword. Ajna herself uses her fists, but can pick up items like an axe to change up her fighting moves, and gives her a way to chop through certain obstacles. Equipping an axe also changes up her special power, which goes from healing the group to a big area attack. These companions only appear during fight sequences. Otherwise, Ajna is running and jumping around in a multi-level maze by herself.
Indivisible features a colorful art style that is almost contradictory to some of the creatures you have to face. For example, one of the monsters is a ghost, which looks like a plain sheet with thrown over a rod, but then the sheet opens up and the ghost throws its organs at you while a bare spine holds the sheet up.
Combat happens in real-time, and each character has a meter that fills up. Players can attack once that meter reaches a certain point. Leveling up the character divides the meter up into shorter sections, so you'll be able to pull off more attacks in the same amount of time. Pushing the thumbstick in a direction when attacking will determine different moves. Downwards makes it a low attack, while up is a jump attack. So, pushing up while attacking with the archer has him leap up and rain down arrows on all enemies.
Players can also time blocks and counters. Indivisible almost starts feeling like a sort of rhythm game once you have additional Incarnations to the party. My eyes rarely left the meter to watch how the fight played out once I had a full party of four, and each of them had subdivided attack meters.
However, the prototype starts to feel like a big button mash after a point. While there is a deep sense of satisfaction in watching your team unleash an unrelenting combination of attacks against foes, I didn't find myself strategizing very much. I mostly ended up watching the meters and hitting attack as soon as one was ready. Sure, I'd mix things up with a high or low attack every once in a while, but I can't say I put a lot of thought into it. This style ended up working so well that I ended up taking away half of a mini-boss's health before it had a chance to hit me once, which is just as well, because it did a ton of damage when it finally did.
Still, even though the game is just an early prototype, it already has a strong draw to it. Maybe it's the cartoon action, or the great soundtrack, or crazy creatures that leaves me wanting more. Perhaps it's the combination of everything. I can just imagine how much better the game would be if it gets fully funded. The Indivisible campaign live on Indiegogo.