REVIEW: Ellipsis

Feb
13

REVIEW: Ellipsis

Ellipsis is a neon-themed minimalistic action puzzler where you have to dodge obstacles and enemies. No shooting involved but plenty of being shot at!

Steam: Released

Developer: Salmi Games

Publisher: Salmi Games

Release date: 25th of January, 2017

Genre: Casual, Action, Puzzle

Type: Single-player

The concept of the game requires no tutorial, it’s immediately obvious what to do. You control a blue circle and you have to collect the ‘beads’ from other circles which appear one after another, while avoiding all kinds of moving spikes, barriers, lasers, enemies chasing you, cannons firing at you etc. Each target circle contains one more bead than the last, and sometimes when you hit a circle at the wrong angle it can send some of the beads flying around the place, so you can either chase after them or accept a lower rated score. After you hit the 4th circle the exit appears but you can optionally go for the 5th for a better score, which is always in a more difficult area.

There is full controller support but I found it much better with the mouse as it allows for faster, more accurate movement, which is often necessary, especially if you’re going for a 5-star rating (see difficulty section below).

Level overview is a sprawling network with the same neon design, very slick and intuitive, and shows all the necessary information at a glance. You can zoom in and out and drag it around to visit whichever sections you like.

Built-in level editor allows you to create your own fiendish challenges and share them with others via the Steam Workshop.

Minor issues

I’m running Linux and 20% of the time starting the game crashes my DE (Gnome) and dumps me unceremoniously at the login screen. All is forgiven though, as I’m happy that Linux is supported and it doesn’t affect the gameplay, which is otherwise smooth and glitch-free.

A more concerning problem is with the trash bin function. It’s confusing, and makes it far too easy to accidentally delete the wrong save file. I say this from bitter personal experience, having wiped my progress after 80% completion of the game 🙁

Sound & Vision

Use of bright neon colours is not only gorgeous to look at but also coordinates the different types of enemies and such. There is a rainbow-themed enemy in the early levels that is particularly stunning.

As well as being easy to control, the level overview shows the various enemy factions moving around, patrolling their areas. Super cool.

There is no background music. Instead you can hear the enemies making their individual sounds and you can tell a lot of thought has been put into this because the noises are perfectly suited.

Difficulty

The game has a 5 star rating system. If you exit after only 4 circles you can only get a maximum of 3 stars – less if you don’t collect all the beads. To get 4 stars you have to collect all the beads from all 5 circles. For 5 stars you have to do this under a strict time limit and for this you will definitely need to use the mouse. You have to dash around the screen with pinpoint accuracy and it always deserves a Freddie Mercury fist pump when you nail it.

So in other words, the difficulty is of your own choosing and has a wide range, making it a good game for all ages. The fact that all you have to do is move your mouse around makes it suitable for even the very young age group.

Steam

It has everything: cards, achievements, cloud, leaderboards, level editor, cross-platform.

Value

150 levels and plenty of replay value, along with extra levels from the community. It’s a fair price but, personally, for this type of game I would probably wait for at least a small discount.

Verdict

This game can be either relaxing or challenging, it’s up to you. It looks great, feels satisfying to play and the level designs are diverse and fresh throughout. Just beware of the trash bin.

 

https://youtu.be/gpGNm_-66hU

 

(click on the image to see the rating explanation)

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