Double Cross does a lot. Set in an interdimensional world, it’s the story of Zahra and RIFT. RIFT stands for the “Regulators of Interdimensional Frontiers and Technology,” and Zahra is an agent with the organization. Their main goal is to keep the galaxy, and each dimension, safe. After an attack on RIFT headquarters, Zahra suits up and sets out on an investigative, action-filled, puzzle-platforming adventure through multiple worlds.
As I journeyed through different dimensions, I noticed (obvious) striking differences between them. There’s Reptarria, a universe in which dinosaurs never went extinct from the earth; Gootopia, on the contrary, is filled with monsters made up of a toxic goo-like substance. Each dimension presents new gameplay obstacles, enemies, music, and upgrades. And given that each one is so different from the next, Double Cross’s implementation of a larger world made up of smaller dimensions is ultimately a great decision. I found myself continually excited about moving from dimension to dimension, as everything changes. I had to adapt to the new gameplay elements per level, which brought about a genuine challenge. The backbone of the game’s presentation, though, is its platforming.
Double Cross’s platforming isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. I was able to fluidly sling, jump, and run my way through a multitude of levels with ease. The constantly unique, high-speed level changes make for death pretty often, but akin to that of Super Meat Boy, you pick up right where you left off almost immediately. It makes for a fun, frustrating time. And though the game feels wonky from time to time, its issues are hardly ever game-breaking. Only minor hiccups in gameplay occur, and on an immensely irregular basis. Combat is basic, but improved through upgrades acquired and a pretty standard leveling system. Upgrades that improved Zahra’s speed and defense, such as shields, I found the most importance in. Because the game is centered around fast-paced, slinging action, I prioritized quickness and maintaining my health bar, as opposed to a more outright offensive strategy.
Double Cross shines as much in its gameplay as it does its art style. The popping visuals differentiate heavily from stage to stage, making the settings a joy to venture through. Some dimensions are dark or bleak, whereas others, such as the Funderdome — a world in which robots seized power from humans — are an incredible spectacle. The neon-lit world is absolutely gorgeous and presents a vibrant alternate reality ripe for exploration.
Though Double Cross’s gameplay and visuals sparkle, its story falls flat. The central conflict didn’t connect with me as I had no previous knowledge of Zahra or RIFT, and its importance was greatly overshadowed by the more emphasized parts of the game, like platforming and combat. I found myself disinterested in the story. Without many smaller, side adventures to supplement for the plot’s lack of material, I became a bit bored with the dialogue exchanges at times. What should have been a quirky, platforming-filled mystery set in an alternate universe ended as a game with a plethora of great elements, none of which happen to be the story. It takes an unfortunate backseat to the game’s other elements.
I had a great time with Double Cross. Its wonderfully done combat and visuals, along with the creativity behind its multitude of worlds, all come to fruition in what is genuinely a fresh, exciting game. For $19.99, pick it up!
A review code was provided by the publisher.
Former EiC, now staff writer here at NE. I’m a full-time journalism student in California. Let’s talk Pokémon.