Photon – Futuristic & Challenging Puzzle game you must play!
Apr 5, 2012 12:04 PM –
Photon is a futuristic puzzle game that will feel familiar to fans of games like Bejeweled, Chuzzle and the recently reviewed RoboSockets. It’s pure connect-3-of-the-same fare, but with a freer and slicker game board. Very easy to play, incredibly hard to master it’s also massively addictive and lots of fun.
Price: Free, with an in-app purchase of $0.99 to fully unlock Arcade mode.
Tested on: HTC Desire HD
Pros & Cons:
- Sharp neon graphics!
- Easy to play!
- Two different modes of play!
- Great music and sound!
- OpenFeint scoring!
- Accelerometer tilting seems very unnatural.
- Gameboard does fill up very quickly.
Photon is a superb and very challenging puzzle game that posits you in a futuristically themed game board. You must destroy coloured discs by connecting 3 or more of the same together. As the levels progress, the amount of discs that descend increases and it becomes harder. There are bonus discs that can be used to help and Classic mode sees you going for as long as you can- the game is over when the discs reach the top of the screen.
There is an Arcade mode in which instead of play against a clock, you’re trying to score as many points as you can in a short space of time. Here you can pre-purchase all manner of bonuses with the use of in-game credits. These credits are earned through gameplay although you can make faster in-app purchases of more. Arcade mode is limited to 10 attempts for free but you can unlock the mode with an in-app purchase of $0.99. Looking at this from the surface all seems a little bit much in terms of demands for money, but you can genuinely get a lot of gameplay in Classic mode for free, and the game contains no advertising.
Photon is very engaging and I found it quite tricky to put down. It felt a little like some kind of Tron-themed mini-game, neon colours, thumping music soundtrack and brutal sound effects. The game is very polished and is gloriously fun to play. You can tilt your device either way to mix up the discs and, while you need to do this, it feels very strange. The tilt is very weird and doesn’t respond as you would expect. I really can’t tell if it is meant to be like that, or that the physics are askew. Either way you end up over-tilting your device left and right to shift discs and I felt it should have been easier to perform than that.
Watch on Mobile
Photon – In-game view 1
Photon – Link 3 or more discs to remove
Photon – Game over
Photon – Main menu
Photon – Classic mode
Photon – Purchase bonus discs
Photon – Between levels instructions
What I love about Photon is that, while it feels very different to other games, it’s automatically playable and simple to engage with. The slick graphics and immersive sound effects make the title feel very serious, but it’s hugely rewarding when you take out a load of discs. The purchase of bonus discs will help you, but I didn’t think this was significantly necessary, you can play easily without it.
One slight criticism I might have is that the gameboard seems to fill up very quickly no matter how good you are at the game- certainly faster than games like RoboSockets, so it might be argued that it offers less gameplay. On the flip side it could just as easily be maintained that the game is just more challenging!
Yes, it’s very addictive. If you’re a fan of games like Bejeweled, etc. you’ll probably feel an immediate affiliation with this. It’s not gem-swapping as such, but that linking and removing discs feels quite familiar and intuitive. It reminded me hugely of RoboSockets, but perhaps sharper, ad-free and with superb music.
The graphics are bright neon on black and they look utterly superb. It’s a completely 2D affair, but discs are detailed and quite sharp with nicely animated collisions and great effects.
Accelerometer, Vibration & Sound:
As I mentioned before the accelerometer feels ‘off’, it works but tilting seems like more work than it needs to be, the discs are seemingly reluctant to adhere to the game’s physics. This didn’t bother me too much, but I couldn’t fathom if this was meant to be, or not configured right. I certainly thought it could be advanced if the accelerometer accuracy was improved- it just felt a little unnatural.
The sound is first-rate. I adored the music- which reminded me of the nightclub scene in the recent Tron film, very Daft Punk meets Chemical Brothers. The sound effects when discs are removed are superb.