Although some of our childhood favorites should not have their gameplay changed, sphereFACE has managed to take our beloved Asteroids and add an interesting twist to it. SphereFACE is an abstract shooter that takes the idea of the classic Asteroids and brings it to the third dimension and puts on the nitro.
The game involves moving your ship through what is technically a curved 2D space, however it is no easy feat. Instead of a flat map you are instead tasked with navigating a sphere-like arena filled with enemy ships and asteroids. The way asteroids break apart will test your reflexes you will have little time to see what’s coming your way. The inside of the sphere that your ship is trapped in, is relatively small; however, you could actually build up enough speed to the point where you no longer see your ship, which is exactly what happened to me.
While the asteroids are hard enough to deal with, you also have enemies flying around shooting projectiles at you. Even if these shots miss, they can come full circle and hit you from behind which makes the game extremely difficult. Your end goal is to destroy all of the asteroids in your current sphere so that a pathway opens up that will transport you to the next sphere/level.
The controls are actually kind of difficult to get used to, even though they are the standard WASD movement keys. Unfortunately, once you get going your only way of slowing down or going the other way is to lose all momentum by turning your ship right around. This will take some practice as it is a matter of learning to properly balance your ship’s speed and control.
This is one of those games where pausing the screen shows just how easy everything should be, however unpausing the game changes everything. The game is easy to learn but nearly impossible to master. I found myself repeatedly dying on the first sphere alone and even after completing that I found myself being challenged in the same way by the second sphere.
As of right now sphereFACE has the main elements of what could make for a great game. The concept of remaking a classic arcade game into something new, yet familiar at the same time is no easy thing to do, however VoxelStorm has managed to do it extremely well. The game feels like classic Asteroids with a great twist to it, you will have to be faster and more aware of your surroundings to survive this game.