Indie showcase: Velocibox

Velocibox header

The prospect of playing yet another endless runner may seem a bit groan-worthy at first. The mobile market is absolutely flooded with them and the PC also has its fair share of lacklustre imitators and shameless cash-grabbers. Fortunately, every so often a title comes along to remind you that there’s still life in the genre, and one such example is the excellent Velocibox.

Velocibox screenie 2Played from a third-person perspective, players are tasked with navigating a rapidly moving cube through a claustrophobic rectangular pipe whilst avoiding obstacles and collecting other cubes. It’s a premise so simple that you can sum it up in a single sentence as I’ve just done, but it’s so wonderfully executed that it can keep you engaged for hours.

The most notable feature is its fiendish difficulty. It’s not uncommon for a run to last no more than a few seconds, similar to other challenging games such as Super Hexagon. This is mainly due to the breakneck speed at which your cube travels, forcing players to respond with nary a moment’s notice. You have considerable freedom of movement, being able to cling to any surface or drop 180 degrees almost instantly, but still, it’s the sort of stuff that requires the sharpest of reflexes to master.

Unlike most of its endless runner brethren, Velocibox is beatable. There are nine levels to blaze through, with an additional nine “super levels” to beat once you’ve gotten cocky about mastering its difficulty. Despite the extremely narrow margin for error, it never feels cheap or frustrating, instead instilling in players the sense that just one more try is needed for victory.

Velocibox screenie 1It’s also a graphical treat, employing simple-yet-attractive textures and shapes to present a pleasing aesthetic without overwhelming the player with too much visual information. The feeling of speed (and danger) is increased by the presence of a fisheye lens effect, as well as random wobbles and waves. The audio is fantastic, with catchy electronic music and vocoder voice effects to enhance the futuristic, almost Tron-like mood.

Grab your copy on Steam now. It retails for S7.99 and both Windows and Mac users will be able to enjoy cube-destroying fun. Watch the trailer below, because everybody loves trailers.