FOTONICA
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 7

Static screenshots can’t really convey the look and feel of FOTONICA as it is a game that is built around the concept of speed. The game boils down to a test of your reflexes as you have to make split second decisions about when and where to jump in order to keep running and building up speed. It is not a game for people seeking a storyline or in-depth gameplay, but for quick arcade thrills you can’t go wrong with FOTONICA.

Gameplay: Run, jump, repeat.

Graphics: The vector style visuals certainly makes for a unique look.

Sound: Atmospheric and provides a perfect match for the minimalistic visuals

Summary 8.0 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

FOTONICA

Developer: Santa Ragione | Publisher: Santa Ragione |Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Action / Indie | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

FOTONICA doesn’t even try to come up with an excuse as to why you are sprinting at breakneck speeds through a surreal vector landscape. Instead it tells you “running at 140mph is fun, see if you can handle it” and lets you get on with the task. Of course, it is not the first endless runner build around the concept of speed, but by taking the action to a whole new dimension it certainly stands out from the rest of the pack.

The combination of the first person perspective and crisp, vector style visuals provide FOTONICA with a very distinctive look. The complexity of the visuals can be adjusted, so at the lowest setting it looks like one of the old vector arcade machines, while at the highest setting the environments actually look more like wireframe models. If you play on the more simple visual setting you’ll miss out on the mountains, buildings, forests, railroad tracks and roads, but since there is less visual clutter it can also help you to do better and react faster. Each level is set in utter darkness with only the glowing vector lines drawing you in, giving the game a sense of desolation. The white lines turn a golden yellow if you reach high speeds, but the minimalist use of color certain helps with the hypnotic sensation of speed. Even the vector shapes of your arms that are visible as you run and jump can be disabled if you find it too distracting.

While the environments might look complex to navigate you only ever have to worry about using a single button. Forward momentum is maintained by holding down the button and releasing it causes your runner to jump. While in the air you can wait for your runner to decent or hold down the button to speed up the process. The latter is vital in some cases otherwise you will overshoot the nearest platform and end up plunging into the void. Deciding when to speed up your decent or when to jump are often the most important decisions you have to make in FOTONICA and a single miscalculation can cost you your speed at best and lose you the level at worst. This means that some trial and error is involved until you have mastered the levels, but restarting after you lose is an instantaneous process and the levels are not long enough to make restarting a chore either.

The arcade mode features eight different tracks that are unlocked in linear fashion. This can be frustrating if you are stuck on a track and want to advance, but since there are four different difficulty settings the game should be accessible enough for most players. The arcade levels feature multi-layered designs, so it is possible to end up on lower platforms, either by accident or intentionally. While keeping to the uppermost platforms might sound the safest you’ll miss out on the red dots that are spread out across the different paths and provide you with a score boost. Apart from the arcade mode there is also an endless mode with procedural levels although these don’t feature higher and lower paths as in the arcade mode. Since the game is so easy to control it can also be played in split-screen via the Versus mode which supports up to four players. No matter which mode you choose the game is great for playing in quick bursts whenever you feel like killing some time or want to take another stab at the online rankings.

The audio of the game is just as minimal as the visuals and it features a very fitting electronic music soundtrack. The tracks are a little mellow for my liking as I would have preferred something more adrenaline pumping to complement the breakneck speeds, but with a decent pair of headphones the audio is quite immersive. For longer playing sessions the more understated tracks are also easier on the ears. There isn’t much sound effects aside from the pounding of your footsteps and the occasional grunts of exertion from your runner. The latter can be either male or female, which is a rather neat touch. One sound that you’ll learn to hate is the jarring impact from smacking into the side of a platform after coming up short on a jump, something which can happen frequently enough that it has its own achievement.

The arcade style gameplay and simple controls might make it seem like there isn’t much depth to FOTONICA, but it is easy to become hooked by this game. About the only complaint we have is that there are so few levels, but considering the amount of hours we spent playing the game it certainly offers enough value for money. If you are looking for a pure arcade experience with a unique perspective and streamlined controls then FOTONICA comes highly recommended.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP SP3 +
  • Processor: 2.0GHz CPU
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512MB graphics card
  • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
  • Graphics: Pixel Shader 3.0
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection

Related posts

The Forest of Doom

The Forest of Doom

The Forest of Doom is a welcome interpretation of a classic adventure gamebook and will definitely be a trip down memory lane for players familiar with the paperback. Newcomers can expect a lot of reading and some trial and error, but the memorable encounters and large number of locations in the forest make it worthwhile. Although the game can be completed relatively quickly it does boast plenty of replay value thanks to the achievements and gallery. Gameplay: The rules are very straightforward and anyone can start reading and enjoying the adventure. Graphics: The original illustrations still look great and the overall presentation of the game is very good. Sound: Nice music, but a few more tunes to provide a bit more variety would have been nice.

Kana: Little Sister

Kana: Little Sister

Don't play Kana: Little Sister if you expect a typical Hentei game and don't play it if you are not a fan of reading and drama. If you can appreciate a good story with well written characters and a lot of heart ache then I can't recommend this game enough. It's definitely one of the crowning achievements in its genre. Gameplay: It's a visual novel so the gameplay consists of lots of clicking with the occasional multiple choice question. Graphics: Nicely drawn characters but the focus is firmly on the story. Sound: Minimal sound effects, no voices but touching music.

Race The Sun

Race The Sun

Race The Sun is one of those games that is almost impossible to stop playing after you become hooked. It seems very simple at first, but after you get used to the pace and unlock a few upgrades the real fun begins. The different challenges and gameworld that changes daily also adds some longevity. For some pure arcade thrills Race The Sun comes highly recommended. Gameplay: Addiction thy name is Race The Sun! Graphics: Simple but very effective. Sound: The music is thankfully unobtrusive but can become slightly repetitive.

Commando Jack

Commando Jack

There is a lot to like about Commando Jack, but the fact that it is a straight mobile port without any enhancements does mean it will be overlooked by some players. The gameplay still shines though and there is a very enjoyable campaign to complete. The game might be free on mobile devices, but in this PC version you have everything at your disposal without any in-app purchases required. If you value gameplay over visuals and enjoy the genre give Commando Jack a shot. Gameplay: Straightforward tower defence gameplay with the ability to fight back in first person as well. Graphics: Clearly a mobile port, but not without charm. Sound: Catchy tunes that complement the action.

Post Apocalyptic Mayhem

Post Apocalyptic Mayhem

Post Apocalyptic Mayhem is pretty bare bones when compared to other racing titles on the market and it has somewhat of a low-budget feel to it, but provided you can get into a decent multi-player match there is lots of fun to be had. The free DLC released for the game has also since been integrated with the base game. Gameplay: Despite the floaty controls and lack of variety there is still fun to be had. Graphics: Nothing spectacular, but the visuals aren't too shabby. Sound: Pretty generic

EPOCH

EPOCH

Mobile titles usually don't fare very well on PC due to their simplicity or lack of options, but Uppercut Games have done a good job sprucing up EPOCH for its Steam release. The improved visuals and responsive controls make it more than just a quick port and the arcade style gameplay is perfect for killing some time between more in-depth titles. While the campaign can be completed rather quickly, there is plenty of replay value and the endless Arena mode also provides some more longevity. Gameplay: Third person shooter stripped down to its most basic elements. Graphics: The Unreal 3 engine is used to provide some nice visuals. Sound: Decent, but not particularly memorable.

Leave a comment

twelve − 2 =