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Game Info:

Soarocity
Developed By: Teaklab
Published By: Teaklab
Released: November 23, 2020
Available On: Microsoft Windows
Genre: Platformer
ESRB Rating: none specified
Number of Players: Singleplayer
Price: $14.99

I would like to thank Teaklab for the review key for this article.

Platform games are essentially you versus the level designer. At least, that's how the genre has come off since Super Mario Bros. codified that gaming genre. However, Soarocity attempts to do something different; making the platformer levels less your enemy and more of a playground.

Soarocity's story is that a spaceship on an exploration mission detects a planet with hostile beings attacking innocent people. Since they don't know the full extent of the danger but still want to save innocents, they send down a remote control drone called a D.A.V.E. to investigate and assist. Along the way, they wind up having to solve a bunch of physics-based puzzles while clearing each level to secure the planet.

The gameplay involves two things. First, you must move your spaceship around to various levels (more will be unlocked as you complete levels and fulfill unlock requirements) so you can send the D.A.V.E. down to investigate. Second, you must collect items in the levels with your drone while solving various physics puzzles until you reach the goal.

Soarocity
Highlights:

Strong Points: Beautiful and innovative art style; interesting concept
Weak Points: Floaty controls; short levels
Moral Warnings: Mild comedic cartoon-like explosions

Graphically, this game goes for a very innovative style choice for levels and backdrops, opting for a post-impressionism oil on canvas look, drawing particular inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh's art piece "The Starry Night". In essence, this means there are a lot of rolling clouds and vivid colors on many levels that are sure to delight fans of this art style. The rest of the character models and other art are far more rudimentary, mainly mono-colored and simplistic shapes. Frankly, they look like slightly repurposed beginner game assets, though this is not necessarily bad, as the contrast is interesting and helps both stand out.

Sound is another interesting clash of contrasts. While most of the soundtrack uses a combination of guitar and whistles for the generally relaxing music, the sound effects have a harsh electronic sound to them. This can be distracting, and there is an option to turn down the sound effect volume if this bothers you.

The control scheme used by this game is devoted to rotation and physics, and unfortunately, this control scheme is the worst implemented feature. For starters, this is nigh impossible to play with a keyboard and mouse. A PC gamepad is required, preferably one modeled after a PS4 controller (a real PS4 controller can be used as well, support for other controllers is unknown and information is otherwise sparse). Also, given the game requires a bit of precision for some jumps and to achieve the objectives. I found the physics to be too floaty at times, though it's clear this is still being tweaked extensively, so this may change in later updates. Tutorials exist in-game to teach basic controls, but they still require some practice to get accustomed to.

Soarocity
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 98%
Violence - 9/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Stability is good. For a Unity game, it loads well and runs on modest requirements that meet the bare minimum. I had no framerate or other issues, and for Linux gamers, it may be possible to run this on that via Wine/Proton.

Morally, there is very little wrong with this title. It has a story that claims you are rescuing people from hostile aliens, though neither seems to be in evidence. All enemies, if any, appear to be robotic drones themselves, and stepping on them results in a cartoony explosion. Since there is no true death or injury of any sort, this comes off more as comedic than anything else.

Overall, this is a mix of good art and concept and unpolished mechanics that sits between "could be great with effort" and "beginner Unity project". The developer appears willing to further refine this game and it's worth the purchase price if you are willing to be patient and hope this gem is further polished. There is a demo you can also try if you'd like to sample this game before purchasing. Morally, there is very little wrong save some very mild comedic violence, and this game would be suitable for anyone from a child on up.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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