Home > Reviews > XBLIG Review: Solar 2

XBLIG Review: Solar 2

Our whole universe was in a hot dense state...

By: Uma Smith

Look to the sky! There’s an asteroid that’s about to hit our planet. What do you do? Now those that chose to duck and cover, I strongly advise you (and I emphasize the word “strongly”) to try out Solar 2, an XBLIG title released by Murudai. It will give you a better understanding of celestial objects and hopefully some common sense!

You take control of an asteroid with the aim of colliding with other asteroids to get larger, thereby increasing your health and XP. However, if you crash into an object that’s bigger than you or get hit by weapons, you size decreases until you eventually explode.

Moving your object is completely straightforward using the left stick. That said, you’ll have to be aware of the physics involved: when you pass by a planet that’s bigger than you, you’ll notice a gravitational pull that affects how you move. It is important to incorporate this concept as it’ll help propel your asteroid in the direction you want.

You begin with a variety of missions to choose from. For example, some require you to crash into a particular object or spaceship as the goal while others will have you avoiding any incoming attacks.

The great thing about Solar 2 is that you have choices — there are a number of designated areas in space you must reach in order to access the mission. Whatever you decide, you have plenty of opportunities to test your different skills and abilities.

When you die, which will happen on numerous occasions, Solar 2 gives you a few options for respawning. Essentially, you can start from the beginning as an asteroid or continue on as any celestial object that you have grown into. Additionally, you can save your current state at any point, making it very convenient for players that cannot wait until they reach a checkpoint before leaving the game.

The beauty of Solar 2 is how the gameplay totally changes as you progress. At the next level of growth, you become a planet. This time, your objective is to get asteroids to gravitate into your orbit rather than crashing into them. When you get enough of them, you’ll grow life on your planet.

Survive long enough and the life within your planet will evolve. As a result, civilizations will develop leading to the creation of ships, which will attack anything that isn’t attached to you. Progressing further will get you a shield that protects you from damage, as well as laser cannons. This time around, the more you advance, the more powerful your weapons will become.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Solar 2‘s gameplay literally becomes “stellar” as you change into a star. Although life will be diminished, you can now capture planets into your orbit. On these planets, life can once again flourish, which will get you a shield around your star. Eventually you orbiting civilizations will develop a destructive nature, thereby turning you into a “death star.” Now that’s hot!

Once again, the gameplay shifts as you continue to expand. This time, you actually collapse and turn into a black hole. Since there is nothing that can destroy you other than a black hole that is bigger than you, you’ll continue to absorb anything in your path except for these larger black holes, which are indicated by red arrows. Now that sucks!

So then what’s after that? Well, you start all over. Basically, you have an interesting yet simple concept behind the game. It will keep you engaged for a long while as you try to determine how much you can make object grow.

You shouldn’t expect to hear a whole lot of sound effects in Solar 2. Instead, you get a soothing soundtrack playing in the background as the frequent crashes and collisions taking place. The lack of bass fails to immerse players in this atmosphere, but realistically, in space, there shouldn’t be any sound at all.

Visually, Solar 2‘s minimalist approach succeeds. Within the background of the vast darkness of space, you’ll see lighting and color from celestial objects, including planets. When you get a collection of these objects on screen, the presentation is pretty amazing. It’s as beautiful as looking at the night sky. Perhaps it could even be romantic if it weren’t for all the collisions and firing weapons.

OVERALL (4/5)

Solar 2‘s simplicity coupled with its unique game design is what makes this XBLIG title worthy of recognition. For 400 MS Points ($5), you’ll be able to immerse yourself in an experience that is literally “out of this world.”

CONTEST

Maybe you hadn’t heard of Solar 2 prior to this, but it’s a pretty cool title and was recently named to The PAX 10, which is quite an honor. However, I can see skepticism on some of the faces in the crowd. You want to try it yourself… and for free no less!?!? Well, OK.

To win Solar 2 simply post a comment below saying, “I wanna win Solar 2!” — then either, a) include your @Twitter name, or b) write “No Twitter” and make sure your email address is valid so that I may send you the code.

I will select two (2) winners on Tuesday, July 19th. All entries must be submitted by Tuesday at 2 PM EST, 11 AM PST. Good luck!

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Categories: Reviews
  1. July 15, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @mysticfail

  2. superche
    July 15, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @sergiosuperche

  3. Andrew
    July 15, 2011 at 12:50 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    @alee67

  4. Brian Staulcup
    July 15, 2011 at 1:10 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @staulcub

  5. July 15, 2011 at 1:35 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @BomberMerc

  6. Mackslappy
    July 15, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @mackslappy

  7. Locke
    July 15, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    @lockevincent

    Amazing looking game with such a unique concept.

  8. Arren
    July 15, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @Gamingftw92

  9. July 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    @el_Ross_M

  10. SEGA Scream
    July 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I want to win Solar 2. Feel free to throw in Solar 1, too!

    • SEGA Scream
      July 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      @RiverCityRansom

  11. Gram
    July 15, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    @Gram_Cracker

  12. mowmow
    July 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2
    @aznxchunky

  13. Garrett
    July 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I wanna win solar 2
    @garrett0024

  14. b
    July 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @blankusername32

  15. okiraan
    July 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    @okiraan

  16. Will
    July 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    @lilmidget144

  17. VeridisQuo1
    July 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    @VeridisQuo1

  18. July 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I wanna win solar 2
    @tripmeter

    and thanks for the contest!

  19. justin
    July 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @largondw

  20. andy ci
    July 15, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2
    @XboxFan85

  21. Jragon
    July 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @jragon274

  22. Akari
    July 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @AkariK

  23. ropes
    July 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @ropes

  24. Brian
    July 15, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    @Masterpitviper

  25. Gio
    July 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    No Twitter.

  26. CharlieWork
    July 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @freesuckerpunch

  27. Pixie
    July 16, 2011 at 5:11 am

    I wanna win solar 2!

    No twitter

  28. A Tom
    July 16, 2011 at 6:18 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!

    No Twitter

  29. Mark
    July 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @AsagiAsagiri

  30. July 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @SpudimusPrime89

  31. Whirling Vortex
    July 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @Whirling_Vortex

  32. Kyle
    July 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    “I wanna win Solar 2!” — then either, a) include your @certifiedninja1

  33. Adrian
    July 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @atron44

  34. Chris
    July 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @ChrisHolland70

  35. Rttn
    July 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2! @phepce

  36. July 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @BossmanLeo18

  37. dexter
    July 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @DexterJJ

  38. Fernando Jasso
    July 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @badaboomxx

  39. Bryce3333
    July 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @Bryce3333

  40. July 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @s1nk0

  41. Willy Blumpkin
    July 16, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @WillyBlumpkin

  42. July 16, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @Chronorayven

  43. cameron
    July 17, 2011 at 12:57 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    No Twitter.

  44. Derek
    July 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @Auxtek72

  45. July 18, 2011 at 12:36 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @Dervish43

  46. Phillip
    July 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @phillip_leviner

  47. July 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @halorach

  48. July 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @viper1829

  49. Nick
    July 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @Laughing__Man_

  50. July 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I wanna win solar 2 !
    @brandoncutrer

  51. Paul
    July 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @xXPoltergeistXx

  52. Eric G
    July 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @Ryoman701

  53. blakepro
    July 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @blakepro

  54. Felipe
    July 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2

    @Pipemilo23

  55. louiedog
    July 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @louiedog

    Thanks!

  56. Luchalma
    July 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    No Twitter

  57. July 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    I wanna win Solar 2!
    @Ashton_McCord
    Thanks!!!

  58. Albert
    July 20, 2011 at 3:56 am

    I wanna win Solar 2!

  1. July 18, 2011 at 6:16 am

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