Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Review: Celestial Mechanica

I was recently contacted by Roger Hicks to try out a game (and listen to it's soundtrack) which he had worked on, entitled Celestial Mechanica for the PC. Created by indie developers Roger Hicks (one of the creators of rComplex) and Paul Veer (animator of Super Crate Box), Celestial Mechanica combines action, puzzle, exploration into one short, but sweet game.

The first thing I noticed about Celestial Mechanica was the cute pixel graphics which carry a nostalgic retro feel. I was instantly reminded of old platformers on consoles such as the SNes when I first loaded this up. For me, I found that these cute little pixel characters were what made me want to continue playing the game until the end. The game reminds me of a Metroid-style platformer, so fans of this particular type of game play should have an indication of what the game is like already. 
As for the game play, in short it looks straight forward, but unfortunately, it isn't always the case. In fact, Celestial Mechanica can be horribly frustrating at times. The difficulty definitely heightens as you progress through the game, due to the increase in enemies and environmental hazards. At least Celestial Mechanica is forgiving to the player in one aspect. Players are giving an unlimited amount of lives. When you do die, spawn points are normally quite close, but sometimes they involve completing that frustratingly hard labyrinthine that you have only just traversed after repeatedly dying in the process of completing it. However, this does not spoil the game as a whole. In fact, once you have completed those sticking points, it actually makes for a satisfying and rather fun game. 

A great aspect is that the controls are relatively easy to pick up. Combine this with the endless lives and a generous amount of power-ups does make the elements of frustration feel worth it Celestial Mechanica. The game is unfortunately rather short, and can be completed in around 2 hours. Personally I enjoyed this game, and would have liked to have become involved in it a little longer than this, but only if the levels of frustration were toned down a little. 
Overall, Celestial Mechanica is an enjoyable, but somewhat frustrating platformer. You'll die a lot, probably curse a little too, but the pay-off at the end is as much rewarding as it is satisfying. The retro look and feel of the game creates a fun, nostalgic and cute atmosphere which I had no problems playing through, and the retro music fits in nicely with the action also. You can purchase the game for the low price of £3.06 (or $5.00), and complete it within 2 hours. Not bad, I say. 

Still undecided? Watch the trailer below-it may help.

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