There seems to be a pattern emerging lately that focuses on the releases of certain indie titles that I like to call the, ‘endlessly go forward and don’t hit anything’ type of game. To be more specific, titles such as ‘Entwined’ and ‘Race the Sun’ fit perfectly into this category and in their own merit, they’re great games that use this simple premise but add unique twists. Velocibox indeed fits into this category, but not necessarily in harmony with the other aforementioned games.
Firstly, let me discuss game difficulty: The word challenge springs to mind for anybody wanting to purchase and indulge themselves into a video game. The challenge in any game tests not only our reactions from eyeball to joypad, but our guile, cunning, persistence, determination and not only rewards us with the sense of sweet satisfaction, but a feeling of accomplishment, either with trophies / achievements, tales to tell to other gamers, or scores to add to a leaderboard for bragging rights. As a matter of fact, anybody in 2015 old enough to remember the SEGA Megadrive and the emotional scars left behind by a game named ‘Ghouls N’ Ghosts’, will know EXACTLY what I’m on about.
Now, difficult challenges are more than welcome in this day and age (Bloodborne, Super Meat Boy), but with this, the gameplay needs to be accessible, otherwise most will give up and move on to something else. Velocibox, in my opinion, is tailored for the hard-core gamer and nobody else. Credit where credit is due, being exclusive for the hard-core audience and focusing on this alone is a ballsy move considering possible game sale slides, and I applaud any company willing to try something new, but I see no longevity in this title at all.
From my understanding, there are only nine levels that are considerably impossible to beat; you’ll likely get stuck on one level for the rest of your life, or spend too many hours mastering the craft of the game only to be disappointed with no satisfying ending; you’ll likely leave this game with a throbbing headache or the urge to punch something (or someone) in the chops.
This game has already been out on Steam and to my understanding, has picked up interest from certain Youtubers that make a living screaming at how hard games are for the entertainment of their subscribers. In this regard, this game works perfectly under this model and maybe some of you Twitch-fiends out there might want to try it, but for the average gamer I might be courageous enough to state that you won’t play this game for long.
I tried. I really did. The music is energetic enough in a pounding techno sort of way that urges you to nod your head and beat this thing, but with the amount of times you’ll either hit a wall / tower / block / neon pillar of death or misjudge a flip, you’ll bore too easy and stick something else on. I’ve heard the word ‘Game Over’ more times than I’ve played the Witcher 3, (and that’s a lot).
The game is just about kind enough to save the level you’re at instead of making you play from the start over, as from my understanding; the PC demo of the game had your start from scratch each time, but that’s like saying, “Hey, I’m your boss at a really busy supermarket and you’re going to be doing a twelve hour shift today, a week before Christmas, but don’t worry, you can have half an hour break.”
If you’re the type of person that sleeps better at night after watching Lars Von Trier films, likes hot sauce with every meal available and gets kicks from sadomasochistic activities, then go and buy Velocibox right now. Sadly, the only fun I got from this game was from either watching my friends cry at how sad they got after level two, or watching videos being played by what I can only assume to be robots, completing it in one sitting.
Imagine playing the Hand-Grabbing machines at your favourite arcade, except instead of the hope of plush dolls and prizes, you’re only ever going to pick up piles of cow dung and there’s a guy behind you with a threatening demeanour forcing you to play. This, is exactly how I felt playing Velocibox.