Repost: Soma Games’ G Review
Some time ago, I contacted Soma Games, a new developer in the portable market, about any titles they had in the queue for release. I previously covered their game G when it was little more than concept art and an idea.
Soma Games released G a little while back and I had a chance to test it out and see if the game matched the plans of the developers. Safe to say, it is an unexpected and awesome surprise considering the bulk of what is on the iTunes Apps Store.
G is an arcade game set in a futuristic Earth where the player builds and launches rockets to explore complex fields where obstacles, power-ups, and gravitational bodies interact with the rockets path. G means gravity, the primary functional elements in the game.
By accounting for the pull provided by these bodies, the player can create looping rocket paths that bring a single rocket within radar range of multiple targets in a mission that earns extra points. The beautiful, artistic scenery, atmospheric music and stylized graphics lend and air of mystery to the game, and unique gaming features make G more interactive than other gravity simulators.
This was from the original press release covering the game, I think it explains the game perfectly and crafts a good picture before a potential player would start the game.
The game has a good tutorial, deep and instructive, my only gripe was that the voice-overs could not be skipped, and there were some times that I could not finish the particular tutorial level I was on, and had to restart from the beginning, listening to the same voice-over again.
Once the tutorial is finished, the game begins and the pleasure of G really begins. The spaceship you fire the rockets from is stationary, the only moving object it the rocket itself. The player decides prior to launch the launch impulse (speed from the tube) and burn duration (length of time of rocket burn). Later in the game, the player gains different tired rocket types.
Using different stages, the two other rocket types are able to propel themselves again, up to two times once they are fired from the ship.
The different rocket types are important in the later levels where different gravity puzzles require not only precise calculation, but intensely precise second and third burns. It is not to the point of science, but actually feeling. It is a little difficult to describe, but while playing certain levels, I knew when the right time to fire the second burst was, and if the third was absolutely necessary.
Gameplay is varied through the different placement of the gravity wells around the beacons that you have to have the rocket soar past. The player marks the beacon with sonar which emits around the rocket as a circle. So the rocket does not actually have to hit the beacon, but somewhat close.
The gravity wells are different sizes and strengths, each one affecting the trajectory of the rocket as it flies around the level. I thought that I would get tired of the puzzles, as they would just be more of the same thing over and over, but each puzzle was a new challenge.
While the levels can be quick, there is an aspect of perfection that comes when attempting to mark all the beacons in one pass.
Graphically, since the only moving object is the rocket, the backgrounds and level designs all look high resolution. Sound also is top-notch, the voice-overs sound good and are acted actually better than some console titles.
One point of mention is that Soma Games is constantly working on updates for this title. I received the game in version 1.0 form and waited until their next update which solved a lot of smaller bugs.
One huge bug for me was when a rocket left the screen, it kept track of the distance, but sometimes a rocket would travel over a thousand meters and not be considered lost. Their first update fixed that issue. Soma Games is expecting a new update to release soon and they are also considering a “Lite” version since the full game consists of forty-nine levels.
This is the first release from Soma Games, and it shows that with diligence, excellent games can come out for portables like the iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple surely has a new revenue model out now, and since everyone can develop for the products expect a lot more good things to come, along with the thousands of worthless apps.
Soma Games is a developer to keep an eye on, I believe there will be some interesting future games coming from them.
Head to Soma Games for more info.
Review Copy Provided By Publisher