Dyad is a beautiful game in so many different ways, and I can honestly say it brought tears to my eyes. Not the kind of tears you get from an emotional experience, no, but the kind of tears you get when you are staring so intensely at a screen of insane, wild, and downright brain melting visuals that your eyes can’t help but dry up. This is Dyad. A psychedelic, abstract “racing” game that not only pleases the eyes and ears with its beautiful visuals and intelligent sound design, but also keeps the seemingly simple gameplay concept fresh and exciting along the way.
Now, I put the word “racing” in quotes because categorizing Dyad as such is really not doing the game justice. You control an abstract vehicle/creature thing, made up of a circular head and a few wavy tails, racing through of tube of constantly changing flamboyant color. Inside these tubes are things called Enemies that are there to block your way, but can also help you out. When an Enemy is directly in front of you, you can press the X button to Hook it. At first this just pulls you along faster through the tube, but eventually, hooking an Enemy can do any number of things, especially as new types of Enemies get introduced. This is how the game stays fresh and fun.
As I played through the first few levels, it seemed obvious what the rest of the game was going to be, but I’m extremely happy I was wrong. Although the concept of hooking enemies and traveling through the tube stays consistent throughout, there are so many variations on types of Enemies that the mechanics never get stale because the game never dwells one variation for too long.
Each of the 26 levels has a unique objective that requires a different mindset than the last if you want to get the 3 stars. In fact, there are probably only around five levels in the entire game that task you with simply racing through as fast as you can. Once you get all 3 stars on a level, a more difficult Trophy version of that level unlocks. Add all this up and there are over 52 levels with their own unique objectives, which is more than enough to make this game worth $15.
As I said before, Dyad really is a beautiful game. The only real complaint I have is that the gameplay is so fast paced and intense that it can be hard to really soak in the stunning visuals and music. Even so, it’s great that those things are in there. I probably spent more time in the menus than I ever have in any other game simply because I could mess around with the music and visuals using the right analog stick.
There’s a definite personality in Dyad that I can’t help but love. And knowing exactly what the creators envisioned Dyad to represent is anyone’s guess. Each category of levels is represented by a number like 2.76, and then the letters TeV, which stands for teraelectron volts. I think that’s an adequate summation of what Dyad is; simply an insane amount of energy.