The Switch is getting some pretty good physics puzzlers thanks to a bunch of Indie developers and Solar Flux is the latest to hit the big time on Nintendo’s platform.
The game’s premise is that suns are dying and it’s up to you and your team to save them before they go Supernova by collecting plasma and shooting them back at the sun.
Just because it would be far too easy to do without a little work, you’ll need to circle planets and use their orbit in order to collect these rays of sunshine and, later, avoid rocks,force fields and solar flares in to the bargain.
Controlling your little miracle of a ship involves first firing it out of the main ship in a specific direction to try and hit the orbit of one of the planets and work out the best route around to the other plasma balls. Once you’re out and floating around in space it’s down to your thrusters to get you where you need to go. A quick press behind your ship in the opposite direction will boost your way towards the next piece of plasma, usually sending you in to the path of a different orbiting planet in the process.
What makes the game so unique and so replayable is that the usual 3 star rating system is used here to such an extreme that you’ll really need to puzzle out just how best to complete each level. Using too much booster and depleting your shields from too much solar radiation are just two of the ways that your score and star rating can take a beating. You’re not going to find yourself barrelling through the levels grabbing a 3 star rating in this game, and it’s all the better for it.
The minimalist graphics are lovely, there are nebula and stars forming the background to your solar adventure, while the sun always takes centre stage as the biggest object in the sky. Copious amounts of shadow give an almost eerie feel to your surroundings as you find yourself swinging around yet another planetary orbit. The soundtrack it also understated and fits the slow paced action perfectly.
Solar Flux is a great addition to the Switch’s puzzle roster and deserves a play for any fans of physics puzzle games. You could say that it’s out of this world…