A neutron walks in to a bar and the barman says “No charge” – Boson X Review
Recently, we have had an influx of difficult indie games coming our way. Last week it was the excellent Duet for iOS, this week we have been playing something a little more scientific. If you don’t know what a Boson is, fear not, we don’t know either! One thing is for sure, however, it is an elusive little subatomic particle. Not ones to leave the common man out of the hunt for the Higgs Boson, Mu and Heyo have brought the excitement to our pockets with Boson X for iOS devices.
Boson X is, in essence, an endless runner – except that it has an end. Players control a lone scientist running through a powerful particle accelerator, dodging pitfalls, accelerating, and finding new particles. The ultimate goal is to find the fabled ‘Boson X’ and bask in the glory and adoration of nerds worldwide. In order to find the ‘Boson X‘, however, you must find other particles such as the ‘radion’ and ‘gravitron’ – no easy feat!
Each of the game’s six levels holds different traps, layouts, and particles. You are tasked with helping your intrepid little scientist avoid obstacles, whilst trying to attain 100% acceleration. Blue speed strips line the particle accelerator, and it is your task to hit as many of them as you can – they are a bit like the repair strips from F-Zero. Reaching full acceleration prompts the discovery of a new particle, and a new level.
Each of Boson X’s six stages can be exceedingly tricky to master. Random generation throws pitfalls and traps at you in the most inconvenient of places, luckily the controls are simple and intuitive. Leaping from platform to platform requires a slight tap to the left or right of the screen, depending on which direction you want to go. Pitfalls can be leaped over by tapping the left and right of the screen at the same time. Occasionally, though, a leap of faith may be required to reach a particularly distant platform, this is accomplished with an extended press of either the left or right of the screen (or both, if you are jumping straight ahead). In theory the controls are easy, but they require a little time investment to master.
Graphically, the game reminds us of the cut scenes in the original Flashback. Environments consist of simple geometric primitives, but are shaded and coloured nicely. Particles litter the side of the screen to give the impression of speed, also.
Boson X’s soundtrack is a twisted mix of electronica and ambient sounds. It is a little difficult to describe, but it is well worth sticking in a pair of headphones as it is high quality and quite enjoyable.
In an Appstore awash with endless runners Mu and Heyo have tried to shake things up. While the game doesn’t stray too far from the classic runner formula, it does enough to differentiate itself. Pairing random generation with traps and obstacles keeps things fresh, and will keep you on your toes at all times. The presentation is pleasantly simplistic, and suitably scientific. Each of Boson X’s six levels are different and exciting but the experience is a little brief, however, it makes for perfect bus stop gamin. If you ever fantasised about being a scientist (just me?), but never quite made the grade,give Boson X a download.