We live in a time where you can go to the PlayStation store and find many different games that we have never heard of. The Indie embrace is stronger than ever with game popping up seemingly out of nowhere. The studio responsible for the game Energy Cycle, Sometimes You, is back with their sequel Energy Cycle Edge. The question is, is it worth it for gamers to spend their hard earned money on a game that has a sequel that is mostly known as an easy Platinum, this reviewer has an opinion and it is not very favourable.
I want to reminiscent my experience with booting up the game. The artwork on the PlayStation network shows a woman whom kinda looks like Alloy from Horizon Zero Dawn, just in a cybernetic kind of way. I thought the design was kind of cool and so I was excited to jump in and so what the game had to offer as I had no clue what the game was! The game downloads rather quickly as it is pretty small, something that I would say we are all accustomed to with these Indie titles, not that it’s necessarily a bad thing! The game loads up and I see the Sometimes You logo appears and then the main menu appears with our Alloy looking figure and a few options to go from there. I wasn’t prepared for what was to come.
The settings menu offers minimal choices as far as the gameplay. Returning players have the options to change the cells to the “Classic Cells”. You have the ability to change the game so that there are Random Colors, believe me, I will get to why there is nobody who will actually want to do this. The ability to turn off the music and sound. Though I do not understand why anyone would want to turn the music off as it is the one redeeming quality the game has to offer! I was surprised there was no option for the tutorial in this screen, but hey, maybe there will be one when I go to the Play option right?
Upon going into the play mode, I discover there are 44 levels available from the get-go. I still don’t know what the game is and so I start Level 1 and all I see is a bunch of glowing orbs. Still no description as to what I am supposed to do. What is this game? What are the rules? What do I do to progress?! The game literally does not answer these questions ANYWHERE! I actually had to go on the internet to get any kind of clue of how to play the game.
So upon doing some research online, I discover that the point of the game is to make all the orbs on the screen to the same colour. For reviews sakes, I played this on PlayStation 4 PRO. I found that pressing L1/R1 rotates the grid around. In the first 10 levels, this doesn’t do anything as the grid is only 180 Degrees. The very first level is an S shape, it took me a while to figure out what to do but I eventually beat it. Don’t you worry though folks, as you progress, there are much more difficult patterns. You use the directional buttons to navigate between each orb and press X to change the colour. In doing so, every adjacent orb that is in the same “Line” as it will change colour as well. There are 3 colours to cycle thru and so you might think you have the puzzle figured out, but then realize that there was one orb that is off. I had multiple times where I got pissed and just walked away, I really wish there was something to helps players understand what they are supposed to be doing. Once you finish the 180 Degree levels, you progress to 90, 45 to a full block. I can promise that you will decide fairly quick on if the game is for you or not.
The music was the one thing in the game that I actually enjoyed. It has a calm electronic soundtrack that was the one thing that held me back from chucking my controller in rage. However, I do feel that the decent soundtrack does not do enough to make me want to continue coming back to the game.
Energy Cycle Edge ultimately feels like a game that was put together in a week and there was nobody there to point out the flaws in the game. I can see why some people may enjoy the difficulty of the puzzles, but I see this as another game in which people will upload the “How To” videos to Youtube so that gamers can pick up another easy afternoon Platinum. Save your money guys. Hopefully, Sometimes You takes into consideration that people may have not played their previous games and puts more thought into their games.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*