Hypercharge: Unboxed review

by on May 30, 2024

You probably have to be a certain age to appreciate the masterpiece that was 1998’s Small Soldiers, in which two sets of toys powered by advanced military AI went to war with one another. A superb cast including Tommy Lee Jones and Frank Langella hammed it up, having a lot of fun with a silly concept. It was, unsurprisingly, all I could think of while playing Hypercharge: Unboxed, from indie developer Digital Cybercherries.

A first-person shooter with elements of tower defence, Hypercharge: Unboxed debuted a few years back on Nintendo Switch, and has now arrived on the other consoles. Playing on Xbox Series S, I fell immediately in love with the smooth movement, satisfying gunplay, and light-hearted sense of humour.

Hypercharge: Unboxed

You play as a toy, straight out of the box and ready to defend your towers from massive waves of enemies. You’ll face everything from common-or-garden toy soldiers to spinning tops, walking robots, and even helicopters and strafing jets. It’s designed to be played with friends, but if you go in alone the game will assign bots as your companions. The reason for this is simple: you’ll need to defend multiple points at once, and will need serious firepower to take down the larger named units.

Each match begins with a defence phase, where you can assign “traps” and obstacles to slow and hamper your attackers. Here you’ll spend currency earned in the form of collectible coins to lay down defences, while searching for batteries to power up your defence towers. And from then on, it’s all about keeping your power flowing.

Although the fighting toys is a novel concept in itself, the real beauty of Hypercharge: Unboxed is the level design. From a huge toy-store to a kid’s bedroom, from a garage to a bathroom, the levels are built in such a way that they allow a great deal of verticality, choke points, and, of course, secrets. There are collectibles scattered about, some locked behind movement challenges which test the sometimes frustrating jump mechanic to its limits.

Hypercharge: Unboxed

Hidden throughout each level are toy boxes, in which you can find attachments for your gun or even secondary weapons still attached to the packaging. These allow you to adapt your guns, add buffs and extra functions, or even switch your weapon altogether. There’s a good selection on offer, though nothing particularly far-out.

The real fun is how Hypercharge: Unboxed plays on your childhood nostalgia, the huge array of enemies and even the design of some of the player avatars evoking specific memories for those who grew up in the 90s and early noughties. It helps that its so bright and colourful, each level brimming with personality and originality.

Digital Cybercherries builds on this level of nostalgia-bait by including multiplayer elements like split-screen mode, something sadly lacking in many modern shooters. I would advise that everyone play the tutorial though, to avoid the frustration of not knowing what to do with batteries or how to lay traps between waves.

Hypercharge: Unboxed

Once you all grasp the concepts, there’s a ton of fun to be had in Hypercharge: Unboxed. Hidden challenges within each level encourage exploration and experimentation with different elements of each level, something not easy to give time to when there’s an army of boglins bearing down on you and you can’t quite make the jump to the radiator. It’s worth it though if you like your cosmetics, as each toy character comes with multiple variants and skins to unlock.

Hypercharge: Unboxed is an excellent multiplayer shooter. It plays extremely well, runs smoothly, and offers plenty of fun and challenge for groups of friends. It suffers a little if you play it solo as the offering here becomes much thinner, but with local split-screen as well as online matchmaking it’s pretty easy to play with others and it doesn’t require too much communication. The only real let-down is the jumping, which feels imprecise and a little cumbersome, though you’ll get used to it fairly quickly. Besides that, Digital Cybercherries has crafted a wonderfully nostalgic slice of multiplayer fun.


Great shooting
Imaginative levels
Lots of fun


Jumping is a little irritating
Not as much fun alone

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Hypercharge: Unboxed is an excellent multiplayer shooter. It plays extremely well, runs smoothly, and offers plenty of fun and challenge for groups of friends.