The mission’s simple: you’ll have to help Vektor escape from an evil CPU. That’s the story of escapeVektor, an arcade-style puzzle game developed and published by Nnooo. It’s a simplistic game that reminded me of Pac-man (in a good way) but instead of collecting pellets you’ll need to complete lines inside mazes and avoid deadly traps.
Developed and Published by Nnooo
Available on the 3DS, PS Vita and Wii. Reviewed on the PS Vita.
Gameplay is quite simple in escapeVektor. You control the titular Vektor and must guide him to freedom, much tothe chagrin of the evil CPU. To do so however, players must complete a series of mazes in order to unlock new paths and make some progress.
Beating stages is quite easy to do at the beginning, but it soon gets challenging and complicated. Players are required to fill all the lines in a maze to make the exit open, but standing in the way are some of the CPU’s deadly traps. Some of these are respawning enemies that either follow a set path, or follow you until you lose them or you blow them up. As you progress the stages get more complex and enemies more aggressive.
As you breeze (0r get stuck) through the game’s 27 zones, players will also gain points to level up and upgrade Vektor, These upgrades range from speed boosts to bombs (and the ability to have more bombs), and can at least give you some help inside the treacherous mazes.
The game’s mechanics are simplistic but fun, designed for quick, short bursts of playtime, but the game has the capability of sucking you in for hours. There’s plenty of replay value here as well, with leaderboards and collectible trophies for each stage depending on how many points you collected on each one.
Graphic-wise, escapeVektor visuals are really minimal, but it all adds to the charm of the game. Vector and the enemies are represented as lines and shapes, and as you fill in the lines within each maze they change color, leading to completed maps getting very colorful. I also really liked that when you move the PS Vita around, the grid and map move, giving the game some depth so it looks like everything is actually happening within the handheld. It’s a pretty nice touch that adds to the game.
I also enjoyed the music featured in the game. The 8-bit style electronic music really adds to the style of the game, and a lot of the songs will get stuck in your head. Each stage has a unique tune so they don’t ever get annoying or old. The sound effects are pretty standard though, but are very reminiscent of old arcade or Atari games.
Another feature that I enjoyed was that before you start the game , Vektor gives the player a summary on the story so far. Also if you’ve been away from the game for a while, Vektor will do some “hacking” inside the CPU and get the player some wild cards that double your score in the stages.
In the end, escapeVektor is a simple but very addictive and enjoyable game. The challenge and the pacing of the game is very well done, and it can have you hooked to your console for hours even though it can get quite frustrating at later stages. But if you’re the type who loves puzzle games or old-school styled arcade games, escapeVektor will be a solid addition to your library.
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