|Summary: Retro visuals, great soundtrack and very fun to play||
Style and substance
I’m old enough to remember when moving largely indistinct pixels around a screen was considered the pinnacle of console gaming.
Times change, but nostalgia doesn’t. When I saw that a new rhythm-based puzzle called ‘Micron’ arrived on Linux last month, I was intrigued. It offers retro-styled visuals awash in immersive plunky soundscapes and old-school gameplay.
But is it any good? I took it for a hands-on to find out.
Micron, made by Apparition Games, is unashamedly retro and unashamedly inspired by its peers. It borrows various cues from other rhythm-puzzler titles, such as the award-winning ‘Lumines’ and the blippy, bright and blocky Bit.Trip series. But these cues are just that: cues. The game has more than enough style to stand on its merits.
Micron is, at its core, a simple puzzle game. While the rhythm elements do play a part, they feel less integral than in other games in the genre.
The goal is to guide little balls of energy to a predefined exit point within, for want of a better term, mazes. To do this you have to place mirrors and portals on the board in the correct position. You have to plan carefully as once set you can’t remove a piece, and you only have a limited number available.
When you’ve directed enough little glowing globules to the exit the level is deemed complete and you can move on to the next.
Despite the relative simplicity of early levels the game does builds, rather like its background music, in complexity and layers. And with 63 levels to complete, and 7 separate level themes, each with their own unique music and sounds, the game offers plenty of variety for what could, in less capable hands, be a fairly formulaic affair.
Buy Micron on Steam
The Linux build of Micron is available to buy from Steam and Desura priced $4.99/€4.99/£3.99. Android and iOS versions are also available if you’d rather.
System requirements are modest, asking for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or later, a dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and Integrated Graphics.