The puzzle platformer genre has proven to be a successful place for indie developers. By allowing small studios to explore big ideas, games like Braid and Fez have set an early pattern for what has become a somewhat oversaturated genre in the last decade. Nonetheless, there are games that still manage to stand out from the crowd, and that’s what Souris-Lab developers are trying to do with A Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories.
The heroes of A Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories are Sci and Nero, who inhabit the world of Hemeide. Here, the duo has to progress through four different worlds, adopting mathematical puzzles along the way, as well as more traditional platforming. It can be played in a single player style or in a co-op, Sci and Nero have different skills that will be useful to them on the trip.
The most striking aspect of A Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories is its visual design. Its mix of solid shapes, pastel colors and flying cartoon character models creates a truly unique pop-up effect that works extremely well when zooming in on the game’s camera. However, in a broader sense, there are problems with the game, because its complex design looks crowded, and its individual components are difficult to distinguish.
The camera, however, has problems other than the visual representation of the game becoming less clear. The player has no control over the camera, it automatically zooms in and out depending on Nero’s location while Sci is teleported into sight if the other character goes too far. Since this means that the view can be extended or reduced beyond what the player finds useful, this can be a bit frustrating, especially when the occasional trimming problems are added when the player may not land properly on the platform.
However, this visual issue does not interfere with the quality of the puzzles in the game. And Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories doesn’t create arbitrary difficulties for the player, with a solid learning curve as the game progresses and enough variety to prevent the user from repeating itself. The game is focused on math, which means that a little bit of logic goes far to success.
In this regard, the quality of the puzzles is not always transferred to the elements of the platform A Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories. Moving through levels can sometimes be very awkward thanks to the controls in the game, with a particularly enraged habit of double jumping without the need for a player. Meanwhile, fighting enemies can be a hit and a miss, in part because their primes don’t stand out, but more because of the nebulous time of attack and the frame for strikes.
The quality of game controls varies, however, depending on how many people play. In a two-player co-op, A Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories is at its best, with one player moving with Sci at times when they are needed, and Nero dictating the bulk of the show – it’s not It Takes Two, but it’s still nice. In the style of a single player game, the game also does not work well, because it can feel awkward if you use each analog joystick for each character.
And Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories as a whole is a mixture. It is visually exceptional impressive, and when the player is able to focus on the puzzles of the game, it is an immersive puzzle. However, his problems with platforming and struggles, along with his camera issues, mean the title ends up being a good idea but not entirely successful in its implementation.
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Source: ITNetwork by www.itnetwork.rs.
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