What Lies In The Multiverse is funny, charming and absolutely incredible. I love it!
What Lies in the Multiverse is a story-driven puzzle platformer filled to the brim with hijinks, chaos, and reality-bending adventure. You play as the Kid, a young smart boy that breaks reality after running a simulation on his computer. As you travel between different universes, you meet with Everett, a charismatic, funky-looking zero f*cks giving reality-hopping genius. Together you embark on an adventure, traveling through and across the multiverse trying to fix well, reality. But, of course, it's not a simple journey as there are many obstacles and other forces at play along the way that will try to stop you.
The story is surprisingly really good, intriguing and it does such a good job mixing hilarious moments of comedic and meta/4th wall breaking brilliance with serious and hard themes. It goes to some pretty wild and unexpected places, but it's well written and doesn't feel forced or out of place in any way. I am trying so hard to, you know, beat around the bush cause I don't really want to spoil anything about it. To me, the overall tone is very similar to Rick & Morty, so if you love that series, you'll probably going to love this too. There were moments where I burst out laughing hard cause the timing and the slapstick comedic nature of some moments is just *chef's kiss. I mean, there's a moment in the game during a train ride where a hobo is withholding some vital information as he wants money and the next frame is Everett trying to yeet the poor guy from the moving train and it's hilarious to experience that. There are tons more moments like this one sprinkled all throughout the game.
Puzzles, for the most part, are excellent too. For most of the game, you have the ability to switch and travel between two universes with the tap of a button. Usually, one universe is the "good place" where the grass is green and the girls are pretty while the other one is the "bad place" where everything is dead, frozen, on fire, overgrown, filled with poison, you know, the usual apocalyptic scenarios. Since you can switch between two universes, each version has its own color palette and its distinctive music, too. I am a sucker for pixel art in indie games and I absolutely loved the art style of this game.
As the game is structured in chapters, each chapter has its own unique alternate universe that features its own unique puzzle mechanics. For example, one universe is frozen and the puzzles are generally built around platforming where running on icy platforms allows you to jump across bigger gaps than usual. Another universe has a poisoned atmosphere and you can't stay too long in it cause you'll suffocate and the puzzles are built around finding safe pockets where you can switch to the safe universe to breathe. There are also instances where you are stuck only in one universe so the puzzles revolve around activating different switches to open the correct doors. Since reality is broken, you will come across glitched objects, known as Ubiquitous, that exist at the same time across the two universes. Later in the game, you'll also come across Interferences that are areas where switching between universes is not possible apart from specific zones which will switch the universe for you if you touch it.
You'll have to think about how and where to move a ubiquitous box so that you can climb to access a key to solve the puzzle. Or you'll have to carefully plan how to navigate through an Interference zone so that you'll end up in the correct place, in the correct universe to access the key that'll open the door to the next puzzle, and so on. All of the puzzles are smartly designed and stay generally fresh as different universes feature their own unique puzzle mechanics as I previously mentioned.
What Lies In The Multiverse is absolutely brilliant. The story is interesting, well written and it succeeds in balancing often hilarious moments and serious themes. Gameplay is great too with inventive puzzles that don't overstay their welcome. Yeah, this game gets such an easy strong recommendation from me. Thanks for reading!
The game was reviewed on a PS5 using a code provided by the publisher. What Lies In The Multiverse is available now on PC, Playstation, Switch and Xbox.