2D Platformers come in all shapes and sizes, with each style of the platformer resulting in creative productions being formed. By using old mechanics in fresh ways, you can have a classic-feeling platformer still feel new and creative. Taking elements new and old, Spheroids sets out to create a charming experience that honors the tried and true genre.
Does it offer a great experience? Or do the spheres block a path to success? Let’s equip our hook gun and take out some evil spheres to find out!
Story, Design & Gameplay
Plot is very simple, with a dangerous being called Spheroids being released. In response to this, an intelligent scientist gets a young lad to set out on a new adventure using tools and gadgets he creates to save the world. The set up is very simple but it works out nicely thanks to decent writing. The dynamic between the scientist and main character is charming, with conversations being quite funny from time to time. Hearing the main character comment on what is happening around him is also nice and I enjoyed seeing him have such a clear personality; helped me connect with him a bit.
General game design is quite simple, with you going from level-to-level across over eight worlds based on real locations. What makes things interesting is how the game continues to throw new elements at you as you playthrough the game. Every world greets you with either a new type of Spheroid to avoid/take out or a new tool to help get through levels.
In addition you have a shop system where can use objects you collect as currently for extra health or double shots for combat. It’s a good system and encourages you to keep an eye out for the collectibles to make things easier for yourself. Platforming itself is good, with controls feeling responsive and always working right. Using tools like gravity boots and the grabbing hook feel great to use and the main attack is quite interesting. Unlike most platformers, you have no frontward attack; you can only shoot up or down. When shooting, it creates a wall that if enemies touch when up, they get damaged. It’s a great system that pushes you to be consistently moving and having precise shooting.
But the game is a bit too forgiving with combat, as if you take enough hits checkpoints are close by; combat becomes a test of endurance instead of offering a good challenge. But platforming makes up for it as I greatly enjoyed the level design. Pushing usage of all your tools and consistently adding new layers to the experience, it always feels fresh and creative.
Spheroids feels like a quality platformer even if some elements like combat could have some additional polish to it.
Spheroids is a great looking game largely due to it’s retro art style. It feels ripped out of the Super Nintendo/Genesis era of gaming and with good usage of coloring for the games worlds, it has a nice look. The bright colors and pixelated looking locations help the game pop off the PS Vita screen. Also helping with the games retro-roots is the soundtrack.
Music feels similar to retro games but still feels original. Tracks only add to the exploration for the games levels and while none of the tracks stuck out specifically, they were quite enjoyable to listen to throughout my adventure. Sound design is also decent, with sound effects audibly working correctly and matching to the actions you preform in game.
My only issues with the presentation include a crashing bug that later got fixed with recent patches and how the games load times can be a bit long between levels. Thankfully both didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the game.
Containing over eight worlds with various levels, the game is about 3-5 hours long depending how long you spend in each level. Outside of completing the mains story, there isn’t much content outside of that. The game does support trophies for the PlayStation versions and has cross-save support.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Spheroids is a solid platforming adventure that tries hard to be a great experience. Through having varied gameplay and good level design, it’s an experience I can see any fan of the platforming genre enjoying. While it does suffer from minor issues, the overall package is a fun experience that I can recommend to any gamer looking for a fun jumping adventure.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita using a review copy provided by the developer.