By: Mike Chen
In Velocibox, you are a box traveling at high velocity down a tunnel. Sounds simple enough in concept. In execution, though, it means a lot of dying and starting over.
Velocibox‘s controls are quite simple. You move your box around the descending column a la the old Tempest arcade game. One button is all you essentially need, as that flips gravity (and the screen) 180 degrees.
Velocibox‘s graphics and sound are pure minimalism. You do, after all, just control a box traveling through a vector tunnel. Colors change, so the safe background is often one color while obstacles are the opposite. That’s never the issue, though, as speed certainly does kill here and the fluid animation is kind of a moot point since things move so darn fast.
Set this all to a slight EDM beat and that’s the entire presentation. It might actually be a kick-ass VR experience if it wasn’t for that whole one-touch kill thing.
Do you like seeing the words “Game Over” within a second of starting your game? That will probably be your Velocibox experience as the game moves so quickly that it can be often over within seconds.
You’ve got two goals: 1) Freakin’ survive, and 2) Collect rings planted throughout the course. Collect enough rings and freakin’ survive long enough and you’ll get to the next level. With intense speeds and one-touch kills, it’s not for the faint of heart.
I didn’t track how many times I died trying to clear the first level, but it literally could have been near a hundred. I’m a lifelong gamer with pretty good twitch control, but Velocibox is so punishing that it’s hard for the game to get any traction.
When I did survive, the speed and fluidity created a zone-like experience, but the game’s biggest fault is its ridiculously punishingly difficulty. A default setting featuring a regenerating shield would have made this a heck of a lot more fun.
While it’s a cool concept, Velocibox is a one-trick pony that kicks you in the shins over and over and over (and over). It’s fun if you can master it but rather infuriating along the way.