Gaming Week 41: Fotonica (PC/Mac)

Gaming Week 41: Fotonica (PC/Mac)
The simple graphics really work in Fotonica’s favour, giving a striking look to an otherwise familiar genre.

I stumbled upon Fotonica whilst browsing, a website committed to popularising indie games that deserve recognition, but aren’t getting said recognition due to their inability to get on Steam. Fotonica stood out to me, with it’s sharp graphics and weird name, I decided to take the plunge and paid the developers the whole $2.99 they were asking for (It’s on sale at 50% off right now). All I can say is: I’m certainly glad I took the plunge.

Terrains are different for each level, giving variety in an otherwise unoriginal game. This level composes of bridges and landscapes that get generated as your run further and further.

The mechanics of Fotonica are simple enough, it’s an endless runner game that gives you the task of surviving for as long as possible by jumping over gaps between platforms. You’ll pick up the controls in no time, and from there on out its a case of learning the levels to make sure you get as many points as possible in your run up to the end of a level.

Each level is different and unique in style, from bridges to landscapes, the vector based graphics don’t let up, allowing for some variety in an otherwise simple and repetitive game. Graphics settings can be changed from the options, letting you choose from vector graphics or filled in graphics. (an example of filled in graphics can be seen below)

The arms/hands are a nice touch, giving you a sense of perspective as to where your character is and the speed they’re going as the arms flail faster and faster.

Fotonica has 4 individual levels, each with it’s own aesthetic, as well as a Endless mode. Each level tracks your highest score, and is posted to the games built in leaderboards. If Fotonica ever comes to Steam, this will improve dramatically with more stages, more endless modes, and a steam friends list integration. For the moment, achieving a high score doesn’t mean much, this is through no fault of the leaderboards though, and is more a reflection on how limited you are in the level designs. There are rarely more than 3 routes you could chose from, and it feels like once you’ve got one route nailed down, there’s no need to choose another. If the developer was to do a  weekly challenge with different levels/objectives, this may make the game more competitive, allowing for great replayability – something the game seems to be lacking at the moment.

As you approach your fastest speed, the graphics change to gold, which gives you more score in the final tally of your points. It’s a nice visual change that ties closely to the mechanics of the game, allowing you to know when you’re doing the right thing without looking at some text.

Fotonica is currently waiting to be Steam Green-lit, and I feel it could definitely use your support. The gameplay is solid, and the visual aesthetic is fairly unique in this genre of games. Being green-lit would allow the developer to add the following extras to the game:

  • 2 Completely New Levels! with new awesome electornica music and new scenery!
  • 2 New Endless levels with different aesthetics and music and play styles
  • 2 Difficulty settings to let you play an even faster version of Fotonica
  • 4 new 2-player levels
  • 10 New Achievements!
  • New options to customize your soundtrack, the position of the camera and more.

Which in my book, sounds pretty awesome. Fotonica is already a fantastic concept in its own right, but with support from the community and a reason for the developers to work on it more, it could grow into something amazing.


p.s. My quick look of Fotonica can be found below:

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