Tired of indie roguelikes releasing on the PlayStation 4? That was this author’s initial reaction when he recklessly volunteered to review Troglobytes’ love letter to The Thing. Fortunately, there’s more to HyperParasite than repetition and 80s references, as this is a rather creative twin-stick shooter-style take on a format that’s been driven into the dirt recently.

You control a fragile gelatinous blob which is capable of possessing the many characters it encounters. Once you inherit a human form, you’ll gain access to their abilities, whether it’s a policeman, soldier, or something altogether more imaginative: paperboys toss broadsheets, basketball players lob balls, and… Well, we’ll let you discover the rest for yourself.

Curiously, not everyone can be absorbed on your first attempt, and so you’ll need to collect brains and invest cash in order to unlock the more powerful hosts. This obviously adds to the release’s replayability, but when paired with its punishing difficulty, the formula begins to grate. Local co-op doesn’t really ease the repetition, although your pals will certainly appreciate the pop culture references.