Friday, October 11, 2013

PC Spotlight #23: Influx

Title: Influx
Developer: Impromptu Games
Platforms: PC, Mac
Price: $9.99
You won't find any enemies in Influx. There aren't any explosions or adrenaline-pumping set pieces. What you will find is a fun experience that combines physics-based puzzles with a world meant to explored at your leisure.
You roll and boost your sphere across an mysterious island, a natural paradise dotted with incongruous "glasshouses", each which contain a new puzzle for you to solve. The game isn't exactly open world, instead completing each glasshouse leads to a new open area where you collect glowing sparks that unlock the next one. It's in these open areas that I felt Influx was at its best. The exploration aspect not only offers slight platforming as you boost your way to hard-to-reach areas and over gaps, it's also just relaxing to roll through these natural landscapes. It's always enjoyable to experience moments such as cresting a hill to find a beach lit by a setting sun and the next glasshouse looming atop a cliff or seeing a volcano rumble to life in the distance.
Puzzle-wise, I never found the game's puzzles to be that difficult. However they were still fun and it's quite cool to witness the levels rotating and moving around you. Your sphere also has the ability to attract or repel objects; you use those skills to manipulate other spheres around each glasshouse into desired locations. Each glasshouse introduces new mechanics, such as catapult-esque tiles and color-coded switches.
Influx isn't perfect. I did encounter a few times in which I fell through the map or passed through some level geography but those glitches were not common and easily fixed by restarting at the last checkpoint. The movement takes some getting used to and the attract/repel mechanic sometimes feels imprecise. But these issues didn't tarnish the experience as a whole. If you enjoy exploration or just want to a calming relaxing game that also offers some cool mechanics and puzzles, you can purchase Infux from the developer's site, Steam, and a number of other stores for $9.99.

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