FOTONICA
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 7

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

Gameplay: All you have to do in the game is run, jump, repeat.

Graphics: The vector-style visuals certainly make 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 devise an excuse for 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 built 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. In contrast, 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 certainly helps with the hypnotic sensation of speed. Even the vector shapes of your arms 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 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 descend or hold down the button to speed up the process. The latter is vital sometimes; otherwise, you will overshoot the nearest platform and plunge into the void. Deciding when to speed up your descent or when to jump is often the most important decision 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 a 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 by accident or intentionally. While keeping to the uppermost platforms might sound the safest, you’ll miss out on the red dots spread across the different paths and provide you with a score boost. Apart from the arcade mode, there is 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 game’s audio is just as minimal as the visuals and features a very fitting electronic music soundtrack. The tracks are a little mellow for our liking, as we would have preferred something more adrenaline-pumping to complement the breakneck speeds, but with a decent pair of headphones, the audio is quite immersive. The more understated tracks are also easier on the ears for longer playing sessions. There aren’t many 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 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 that can happen frequently enough to have 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. Our only complaint is that there are so few levels, but considering the number 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, FOTONICA is 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

Cho Dengeki Stryker All Ages Version

Cho Dengeki Stryker All Ages Version

Cho Dengeki Stryker is a visual novel that is packed to the brim with great visuals, awesome audio and an engaging storyline. You’ll encounter a few clichés and plot holes, but overall the storyline is stellar and very engaging. It is also much longer than most visual novels and the additional routes boosts the replay value dramatically. If you are a fan of the genre you owe it to yourself to check this game out. Gameplay: Thanks to an engaging storyline and great characters this visual novel is definitely worth the investment in time and money. Graphics: The resolution is a little low, but the artwork and animations are top notch. Sound: The voice acting is superb and there are tons of audio tracks.

Planet of Lana

Planet of Lana

Planet of Lana is a cinematic puzzle adventure where players must help a young girl find and save her sister from the alien robots that have invaded. The only real challenge in the game comes from the puzzles, but it also features some platforming and stealth sections. Planet of Lana is a beautiful-looking game, but the gameplay can feel slightly shallow compared to similar titles. While Lana herself is not a particularly memorable protagonist, it's hard not to love her little alien cat companion, Mui, who is an invaluable asset during her quest. Gameplay: Planet of Lana is very short and the platforming as well as puzzles are not too taxing. Graphics: The game's visual style is superb, and a big reason to keep playing is to see where the adventure will take Lana next. Sound: The soundtrack is excellent, and while the voice acting is sparse, it perfectly conveys the emotions Lana is experiencing.

The Sun and Moon

The Sun and Moon

Don’t let the simple visuals fool you, The Sun and Moon is a devious platform title with a very interesting ground diving mechanic. Being able to jump into the ground means you’ll have to approach platforming in a whole new manner and makes for a challenging, but addictive experience. In addition to the arresting gameplay the game features a nice soundtrack by Dubmood and very responsive controls that keeps you in control of the action at all times. Gameplay: It takes a while to wrap your head around the ground diving mechanic, but it makes for a challenging experience. Graphics: Very minimal, but ensures that the focus is on the action. Sound: Some fitting tunes provided by Dubmood.

Rescue Quest Gold

Rescue Quest Gold

Rescue Quest Gold is a Match-3 puzzle game with plenty of levels and gameplay that requires a bit more strategy than what is typically found in the genre. It is a very enjoyable experience and one that manages to keep things interesting. While it was originally a free to play title, it is definitely worth shelling out for this newly remastered premium version thanks to a host of enhancements and improvements. If you are a fan of the Match-3 genre in particular or casual games in general, then don’t miss out on this title. Gameplay: Challenging and very addictive. Graphics: Detailed, colorful and very polished. Sound: A perfect match for the game.

The Zachtronics Solitaire Collection

The Zachtronics Solitaire Collection

The Zachtronics Solitaire Collection delivers exactly what it promises in the name, with eight polished and very addictive variations of solitaire. Seven of these titles were originally launched as mini-games for Zachtronics titles released between 2016 and 2022, but the collection also includes one new variation. The convenience of having all these titles as part of one collection is excellent, and the updated 4K graphics are also a big plus. While solitaire fans will have a blast with this collection, it is also accessible enough to appeal to new players looking for a way to kill some time. Gameplay: All of the solitaire variations included in this collection are very polished and highly addictive. Graphics: Each game in the collection has its own unique look, and the overall presentation is very good. Sound: The music is excellent, which is good as you'll be hearing the tunes for hours while playing.

GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon

GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon

GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon is an intense roguelike hack-and-slash action game with a stunning traditional Japanese art style. The game features plenty of action and a variety of enemies, but a lot of grinding is required to make the most of them. The upgrade and crafting system is also a little convoluted, but overall the game is very addictive. It is not a title for players who dislike grinding, but those willing to put in the hours will find the experience very rewarding. Gameplay: Progression is a little slow, but there's plenty of action and great boss battles. Graphics: The ukiyo-e style artwork is beautiful, to say the least. Music: The soundtrack is excellent and features a nice variety of tunes.

Leave a comment

16 − 5 =