Format: PC (tested)
Released: April 2018
What happens when you turn Tetris into a physics-based game of reverse off ground touch whilst surfing? Welcome to Spectrum Break!
What first drew me to Spectrum Break was the neon coloured graphics and evocations of Tetris with the types of blocks in play but what kept me going on was the gameplay. As with many great games its a simple to learn and hard to master mechanic that keeps you entertained and here it’s all about momentum and parkour – it’s just your surfing across Tetris styled blocks!
Your little surfer character has weight and speed that affect two things – the height and length of your jump (along with your jump button press duration) and also the weight of how heavy you’ll land. Each level requires you touch all the blocks to make them glow but as gravity seems to act like space here, each interaction will usually push a block down or in the direction you’ve hit it. This quickly becomes useful as well as a mental challenge because you’ll be lining up jumps and wall jumps – but also using these actions to push glowing blocks into other blocks so they light up too. It’s beautiful in its motion and seeing a level light up is satisfying and rewarding at the same time.
Soon added complexities come in. Blocks will launch in certain directions with thrusters and you’ll need to work your way around tricky level designs – essentially riding blocks around barriers using your force to reach hidden blocks. It’s well thought out and one of the great pleasures of Spectrum Break is that you can approach levels in a variety of ways and reach the same result and it shows off what type of player you are. There are plenty of levels to enjoy as well as a game timer to try and lower your completion time down for some steam achievements. A nice shout-out to the chiptune soundtrack as well – which is a personal favourite genre of mine.
- Excellent balance of physics, parkour and puzzle mechanics.
- Open-ended levels mean you can approach levels differently over and over.
- Gratifying game design keeps you coming back for more.
- The game is perfect for a level editor or local multiplayer time trial mode.
It’s not often you come across a game that genuinely invites creativity and unique approaches to completing its levels. For that Spectrum Break is easily a recommended game – it just so happens to be addictive and fantastic to play too.
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A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review.