Nukezilla Review: Chronovolt (PS Vita)
Rarely do I feel I can review a game without finishing it, but with Chronovolt I’m making an exception.
Chronovolt is a physics based puzzle game where the goal is to roll your chronosphere, a super magic/science time travel ball thing, through a series of mazes a la Marble Madness or Super Monkey Ball. Collect chronovolts, batteries that just happen to be laying around everywhere, and just happen to power your magic/science time traveling ball, and navigate mazes to chase down an evil doctor you never really see outside of the opening cut scene or text bubbles.
You see, he stole the plans for the time travel thingy from the good doctor you work for and is using it for evil. How exactly, I’m not sure, but it’s time travel related. Follow him to the jungles of the Amazon, the peaks of the Himalayas, and some third place I couldn’t be bothered to unlock.
A paper-thin, logically unsound story can be overlooked if the game itself is fun. Unfortunately, that is not the case in Chronovolt. The time travel story seems to only serve the Prince of Persia-esque rewind feature, but 90 percent of its usefulness in the game comes from the rest of the controls being rather shoddy. You can see what they were going for, but everthing feels a little off.
There are two options: rolling the ball with the left analog stick, or using the Vita’s tilt controls. The tilt controls are an overly sensetive, unusable mess though, so it’s best to stick with analog. Even they seem a bit… off at times though. While the ball can sometime roll along at an impossible angle along an edge, other times it flies off into the abyss with the slightest of taps.
Also, for a game about precision control of a ball, it seems odd that the physics engine struggles to handle the chronosphere ridding up or down a moving platform. What should be a simple elevator ride turns into a struggle to keep perched on the lift all the way to the top.
This is developer Playerthree’s first game outside of a browser or phone (that I can find anyway), and it shows. Not just in the technically rough first step onto a new platform, but in the way you are greeted with the option of micro-transactions before even entering a level. In a free, or even 99 cent iOS game that’s a bit more acceptable, but even at the low price of $5, it seems tacky.
I got this game for free on PlayStation Plus, and I can’t say I got my money’s worth.