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Fotonica, at its most basic level, is a first-person platformer in which you must reach the end of a level. At its most complex, I haven’t quite figured it out. And it doesn’t matter that I haven’t because the guys at Santa Ragione, have won my heart.
The game’s controls could not be simpler, all you have to do is press one button to command your character’s movements: running, jumping and landing. You’ll hold one key – any key of your keyboard will do – to start running and the more time you hold it, the fastest you’ll run. To jump release the button, and to land just press it again.
Each level begins with a drop. In less than a second: a thump and you reach the floor. Select a key, press it, hold it. You start moving, increasing your speed with every meter and second passed. The air hitting your face. Running, leaving behind things unsaid. And then… music kicks in.
What’s brilliant about Fotonica is the way its music and visuals blend perfectly together. I can only describe the art style employed as avant-garde, sporting a limited color palette of mostly black, white, yellow and pink. The environments and the character’s arms are rendered as vectors – white lines over a black background – and when the game is in motion it is something to behold. Yet, the looks of the game wouldn’t be so strong and appealing if it wasn’t for the soundtrack. A word of advice, do wear you headphones while playing.
The music chosen may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but for Fotonica it was the perfect choice. Pulsating electronic rhythms accompany your actions and as the lines start to blur and your velocity increases, you’ll find yourself immersed, feeling the music. At times, while playing, I couldn’t help but to feel synesthetic, not knowing if I was hearing images or seeing sounds. Each note a string pulled in me pushing me to go further, one step closer to the end goal.
At the end of the day I don’t return to Fotonica just because it is fun. I return to it because it is interesting. More than a game, it is an experience and that’s what makes it something special.
Fotonica review info:
|Visual Style: 10||
|Gameplay: 8||Release Date: