Solar Flux (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 08.01.2019

Review for Solar Flux on Nintendo Switch

SolarFlux is a space-based puzzler that utilises the Nintendo Switch touch screen to navigate through 80 short, but challenging levels. Make the most of the shadows, orbital pull, and thrusters to solve puzzles and earn stars based on performance to add to the challenge. Will Solar Flux brighten up your day? Read on to learn all about it.

Most puzzle games don't have a story, and when they do, they are often flummoxed together to try and pad out any sort of story mode the game might have. Solar Flux doesn't do this at all, with the exception of a small mention that the universe and its galaxies are in turmoil due to its dying suns. No matter the premise, the aim in here is to collect small orbs of plasma which are scattered around the stage, and then shoot them into the sun, restoring its equilibrium, and thus saving the galaxy. Collecting plasma is done by controlling a small ship and navigating through the stage by using its thrusters, but with the caveat of limited fuel and a shield susceptible to radiation.

Scattered among the stages are planets, asteroids, and rocks which often have some sort of orbital gravity that can be utilised to save fuel and ride the airwaves energy-free. Another factor to consider is that the ship's shield can only withstand a certain amount of radiation from the sun, meaning that a retreat might be necessary to regain shield health before progressing. Regaining shield health (or to not lose health at all) is relatively easy, as it is can be done by hiding in the shadows of planets, or by moving further away from a star. In principle these are easy mechanics to grasp and understand, however each level can vary with its challenge which often or not is based on; complete the level within a certain time, limited or no fuel consumption and weaker shields. This can add quite a lot of replayability for those searching for a full 3-star rating on each of the 80 courses.

Screenshot for Solar Flux on Nintendo Switch

The true downside to Solar Flux is that it is solely a touch screen title that cannot be played with buttons, whatsoever. The lack of practicality that this presents is somewhat frustrating, when considering the USP of the Nintendo Switch, but it is further compounded by frustrating controls and commands. To start with, stages should be able to be zoomed in and out of while pinching the touch screen, however this does not work at all despite the numerous amount of attempts that were tried during the review period. While the lack of being able to zoom in or out is not the end of the world this can make certain challenges pretty difficult (or impossible to complete) if going for the 3-star rating.

Frustratingly, tapping the screen is how everything is controlled, such as activating the thrusters on the ship or shooting the plasma in to the sun, but, unfortunately sometimes the opposite will happen and ruin the flow of the gameplay. Putting control issues aside, Solar Flux comes accompanied with a synth style ambient soundtrack that fits with the atheistic and graphical style quite well, even if a lot of the sounds do sound like a PlayStation 3 boot up sequence.

Screenshot for Solar Flux on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Solar Flux feels like a cheap mobile port that hasn't quite grasped how to perform on the hybrid handheld that is the Nintendo Switch. The puzzles themselves can be fun to play at times, but frustrating controls diminish the experience.

Developer

Firebrand

Publisher

Firebrand

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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