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Spheres of Chaos

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 2000, Iain McLeod

Between all the many Asteroids remakes floating around, this one stands as one of the most original. It’s not for particular innovations in the gameplay, aside from some creative bonuses like the Bounce Shield or the Radiate Gun, or the “Attract”, which transforms the ship in a sort of black hole which attracts even its own shots (!). No, it’s for the graphical aspect. The game makes use of an incredible number and variety of fireworks, fade and color-cycling effects. Added with a weird design of the enemies, it results in a screen always full of lights, colors and explosions, and an overall “hallucinated” look – in fact, the definition “Asteroids on LSD” came often to my mind. Sound isn’t less weird, with its “New Age” effects – they are very hard to describe, you should just listen to them. Anyway, they add a lot to the “Chaos” that is the game’s trademark ;) The graphics are highly customizable, with a lot of background effect to choose. Just don’t select the “Smooth” or “Fluid” modes, the game is virtually unplayable with them, but they are great if you like extreme psychaedelia :b

The gameplay is the classic one from Asteroids: simple, but good for both a quick shooting, or long blasting sessions to break your previous records – a design that really stands the test of time. Like with the graphics, the gameplay is highly customizable: you can choose, for example, the frequency of boss attacks, or the percentage of bonuses per enemies destroyed. There are four multiplayer modes, the best being the Race: the first player to achieve a certain score, wins. Luckily, mouse is supported as a control interface – trust me, it’s really good. When playing alone, the ship can be “locked” at the center of the screen: this way, I rarely lost track of it even in the most confused moments, even because, opposed to the strange enemies, it’s just a triangle!

At first, you’ll be surely overwhelmed by the extreme confusion. Personally, after getting used to it, I kept playing and playing, just to see another strange enemy pop up, and blow it to boost my score. Even losing a life is cool, when you explode is like the Universe were collapsing ^^ If you get involved, you’ll lose the sense of reality for a while, transported deep in the Chaos… Is this being hallucinated? ^_^; Obviously, this could not apply to all players – you may just not like all this “psychaedelic mayhem”.

So, Spheres of Chaos is a game you could either love or hate, but deserves at least a try in every case, considering how small is the download of the demo version (there are Linux and RiscOS versions too). The registration price was also cut in half recently, so be nice and don’t use cracks – the author found out that one of them could be a trojan, and doesn’t know if others are the same! You don’t want to take risks like seeing your credit card number stolen, right? :b

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