Reviews

Solar Flux review – Solar Flare!

That's right readers, nothing is safe from Reggies 'Dad Jokes' or 'DragonBall Z' references. Ever. The latest victim of my outrageous and relentless sense of humour is 'Solar Flux' by the lovely developers at 'FireBrand Games'.

Solar Flux is the latest in budget titles being ported over from Android / iOS mobile devices. As such, it’s control system fits well with the Nintendo Switches portable options, more so its touch screen in this example. Joy Con support is included whilst in docked mode, however, it’s execution is like trying to get a toddler to walk in a straight line whilst Nutella covered Kinder Eggs are screaming “Eat Me!” on the sidelines.

“Well Flux Me…”

Docked Mode = Con Joy

For lack of a better example, playing Solar Flux in docked mode is a bit pants! Featuring dead zones on the thumbsticks rotation and a barely visible trigger sight for aiming, one would suggest keeping this as a commuting or toilet title.

Just for the record, a toilet title is not a collective term for a bad game, but one for an accessible, pick up and play experience. Everyone has that one friend with an old DS down the side of the toilet with ‘Mario Kart’ in surely? If not, you might as well endure life as a hermit. Your current circle of friends obviously don’t love you enough, It’s better you find this out now readers…

“This very image sets my Anxiety a flame”

Solar Flux invites players to rescue dying stars by collecting rogue Plasma balls in its vicinity, then fusing them with the Red Dwarf star they originally left. Whilst it’s not an immersive title with highs and lows by any means, it’s addictive and well put together. For the first couple of hours atleast.

Let’s Get Physical…

Like most other games in its field (Angry Birds etc), Solar Flux relies on in-game physics to get its players hooked early on. In fact, the first set of levels in this title is dedicated to showcasing the games various mechanics and power-ups. This can include using nearby planets gravitation pull to orbit and sling to various spots without using any fuel.

“I absolutely Rocked This One!”

The scoring system is heavily weighted on a players fuel consumption and shield health on completing a level. So in other words, high scores come from using orbits and shadowed areas of the level as much as possible in order to collect Plasma. Given it isn’t always logical to put every solution into this method or allow players to believe the said solution is always true, thrusters can be used in bursts to get on the correct trajectory. Likewise with shield percentages diminishing the longer players decide to bask in the stars harmful radiation.

Solar Flux is a clean, ‘No Frills’ experience with simplistic textures delivering exactly what they need to for the title, nothing more. Touch screen puzzlers aren’t normally the go-to genre for HD AAA texture meshes, nor would I want anything to jeopardise Solar Fluxs’ solid and smooth frame rates. The soundtrack does glitch from time to time, which is a bit disappointing seeing as Solar Flux doesn’t have the most demanding task laid out in front of it. Other than that, much like the graphical quality, it does exactly what it needs to do, mostly.

“They even included a Dream Theatre Level…”

Verdict:

Presentation: 8
Graphics: 7
Gameplay: 7
Sound: 4

Overall Score: 6.5 / 10

Whilst I wouldn’t say Solar Flux is a bland title, but it isn’t exactly an exciting or invigorating one either. It’s a middle of the road puzzler that will entertain for an hour or two. With that in mind, there isn’t really much to be disappointed with.

Format: Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Price: £7.79
Publisher: Firebrand Games Ltd.
Developer Firebrand Games Ltd.
Age Rating: PEGI 3+

Release Date: 11/12/2018 (UK eShop)

Review copy provided by publisher

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