An extended cellular level of Spore much more focused on the action
Infektor is a game by Rushing Vise for PC and iOS. For this review, I tried its PC version, that you can buy on Steam.
My first impressions were really good and the game felt kinda familiar. It looks like the cellular level of Spore, but the gameplay is way more focused on the action.
My life as a microbe
The game offers 2 modes: Infection and Survival. In Infection mode, the player must stay inside other cells to gain points and finish the levels. It looks simple, but the player must dodge the defence system which attacks with antibodies flying like bullets toward the player. Luckily, these defence cells don't last forever and die, leaving behind green items that give points to the player. In Survival mode, the player must stay alive as long as possible, collecting points and surviving waves of antibodies.
The game starts with a well-crafted tutorial that explains the 2 modes and the game environment, which can be really confusing without some sort of explanation since everything looks similar in the beginning.
However, that’s a low side of the game. The graphics are really well made, but the theme makes everything looks the same sometimes. Just look at the screenshot below. Even the GUI uses the same color pattern as the gameplay elements.
When the player is infecting a cell, the screen will zoom out to show enemies approaching, but sometimes is hard to define what is an enemy or a power-up. That’s probably why it is difficult to find a game with microscope fauna theme. The GUI is confusing too since it uses the same color as most of the other things on the screen. The choice for interlaced triangles for the life bar is questionable since it gives a false sense of scale. A traditional health bar or a circular one would make it better for monitoring the life level.
In the PC version, the game is controlled by using the mouse and it works great. The microbe will follow the mouse cursor with some sideslip when turned. Clicking on the left mouse button will execute the microbe's special ability. The sideslip can be annoying sometimes, but it’s a fair feature, since, most of the enemies fly around the screen in a straight line, like a bullet. Other enemies will follow the player with precision but are slower.
Like I said before, the enemies have a short lifespan, and when they die, green power-ups will appear on the screen. These power-ups work like money. Before you start a new level, there are some options for buying new upgrades for you microbe or even for buying new kinds of microbes.
The game offers 3 kinds of special abilities: an acceleration feature, that helps the player dodge and scape projectiles; a shockwave, really useful for pushing enemies away; and a magnet that attracts power-ups to the player.
Overall, Infektor is a fun game, but it has some flaws, like the almost inexistent difference between the levels, confusing graphics sometimes and the no soundtrack at all. I recommend it if you like short, fast paced games with simple mechanics.