Myriad should probably come with some kind of warning on account of its explosions feeling like an assault on your eyes. It’s a 2D arena shmup but looks nothing like most other games in the genre.
Its kaleidoscopic looks and effervescent particle effects aren’t the only thing that pops about this game. It turns out that the main mechanic in Myriad is being able to shape the arena. When you defeat one of your enemies another of the colorful circles that represent the playing space appears.
Being able to control space in this way is part of Myriad’s performative features: you can also rewind time upon death, and create chain explosions as part of what its creator describes as “conducting a symphony of colour, shape, sound and motion.” Of course, you can record your plays and share them with others, furthering the idea of this being a performance.
The central conceit of Myriad is that the game’s beauty in its visuals and soundscape increases the longer you play. The only catch is that destroying enemies causes more of them to spawn – so it’s an endlessly multiplying game of survival that gets pretty tough. Luckily, you do have nine different weapons to try out in your battle against the abstract shapes that hunt you down.