Developed By: FiolaSoft Studio
Published By: FiolaSoft Studio
Release Date: 08/08/2017
Reviewed on Xbox One; Also available on PlayStation 4 and PC.
I think it’s safe to say that I don’t do well with puzzle games. This became more and more clear to me after spending hours with this game… But I do usually prefer to shut my brain off while I play games unless I’m playing something story driven. So, why was I so addicted to Blackhole? Read on to find out!
On a ship full of intergalactic geniuses, you travel the Galaxy closing Black Holes that threaten Earth. Your characters job? Dutiful coffee maker sounds about right. The unimportant one of the bunch, your only purpose is to make sure the water to milk ratio is just right. That is until a Black Hole sucks your ship up and your end up crash-landed on an unknown Planet known only as the Entity. You appear to be the only survivor, you and the ships AI, Auriel. Now you’re on a mission to get your ship repaired and find any of your crew ‘mates’ on the way. It’s unusual for a platformer to have such a long and in-depth dialog, especially one that is equally mysterious and witty. However, one thing I really liked about this game is the option of taking out all the dialogue if you’re not a fan of story and just want to get down and dirty with the puzzles. Good luck to ya.
One thing I learnt very quickly in Blackhole is that this is no easy game. This hard-core platformer challenges you with the task of exploring diverse dimensions (in the form of levels) collecting selfburns; the must-needed components to fixing your ship and getting out of there. Sound easy? It is, until you have to change gravity in order to collect said components. This is where I felt the game started to go downhill for me, going through these levels and collecting these selfburns really began to feel like a grind and that really ruined the experience for me. Collecting these selfburns didn’t feel rewarding to me at all. In fact, it felt like a chore. But at the same time, I felt as though I couldn’t stop playing. Like I wanted to prove to myself that I could finish these puzzles if I really put my mind to it. If puzzles and grinding appeals to you though, you have over 90 levels to play with, providing hours and hours of angering gameplay.
Graphics and Sound
How this game looks and sounds is my most favoured thing. The 2D, almost pixelated art style and the sci-fi inspired, quirky soundtrack that follows really compliment each other well, pulling you along with every moment of the story. Every environment you encounter from lava and ice, to grass and sand look absolutely stunning and polished. I looked forward to every level I entered, not because I looked forward to the puzzle I was about to embark upon, but because I wondered what beauty my eyes would be set upon next. The sounds that accompanied these levels only made this experience better, the way the music intensifies with every heightened moment is truly an art. It’s just a shame I couldn’t say the same about the gameplay itself.
If you enjoy puzzles and difficult gameplay and enjoy spending countless minutes (what feels like hours) repeating levels to 100% them then Blackhole is the game for you. The corny humour is somewhat overbearing at times but the surprisingly mysterious story makes it worthwhile. Sadly, this game wasn’t my cup of tea. As someone who doesn’t have a great deal of free time, the time I spend playing a game I like to relish and not have to spend the next 30 minutes frustrated at myself for not being able to complete a level fully. This game isn’t called a hard-core platformer for no reason! It truly lives up to that title. I can see why this game would appeal to people though, and if you like a challenge then this game is perfect. The art style, the soundtrack, the story; there are so many great aspects to this game I just wish I could’ve enjoyed it more.