Waveform, the soothing indie game I previewed some time ago, is an elegant and incredibly simple to play offering that has just been released for the PC (with a little help from Steam), though I’m pretty sure it would make a killing over at them touch-based mobile devices. Now, don’t take this wrong reader; I don’t consider Waveform simplistic or shallow – far from it. I’m just pretty confident its unique game mechanics would greatly benefit from touch controls.
Anyway. On to the game proper. Waveform has you using the mouse to control the wavelength and amplitude of a light wave that looks and behaves suspiciously close to a sine wave. Moving your mouse cursor right or left will modify the former and up or down the latter, thus hopefully plotting a route that will help your circular avatar thingy avoid obstacles and grab a ton of points. It’s this simple really or, as some would wisely point out, a triumph of minimalist design.
Happily, said simplicity doesn’t mean that the game is boring. It means instead that this is one traditionally easy to learn yet hard to master offering. Also one that actually affords gradually building up its complexity with a steady introduction of new gameplay elements, new mechanics, new enemies and new ways to treating them, meaning that you will definitely have something fresh to look forward to every few levels. And there’s over 100 well designed of them.
Not all is perfect though. Especially as things get more hectic the controls can feel a tad unresponsive. Oh, and despite the variety on offer and even them hidden levels, said things can actually get repetitive, especially when you are frantically trying to play through the game for a review… Then again, and in what can only be considered a showcase of spontaneous dialects, it remains both fun and addictive; a bit like Tetris actually. What’s more, Waveform is indeed something one has to definitely try in order to experience an oddly relaxing yet essentially arcade game.
As for the game’s graphics, well, they are all spacey and slightly psychedelic and nice, and help that overall feel of a properly polished game. As, of course, does Waveform‘s amazing soundtrack. And the ton of little touches, black hole levels, achievements and extras that the devs have kindly packed in this rather lovely and bravely original game.
Verdict: A refreshing and actually successful attempt at a spectacularly innovative arcade game. Definitely worth a try, if only to experience how something truly new feels like.