Forma.8 GO is a twist on the "metroidvania" game genre. This term comes, as do most things, from the first of its kind: Super Metroid Castlevania, which was essentially a puzzle platformer, but also featured huge sprawling levels that required careful exploration in order to find all the secrets. Forma.8 definitely falls into this category due to its fiendish puzzles and hidden secrets, although it has traded a running/jumping mechanic for precision flying.
In Forma.8, you are a probe on a quest to find an energy source. On your way, you will fight enemies, discover secrets, solve sometimes frustrating puzzles, and most importantly, explore the world around you. First and foremost, this is an exploration game with puzzle and combat elements thrown in. If you've ever played a puzzle-platformer then you know how frustrating it can be when you don't execute that tricky jump and find your in-game self injured or worse. For this reason, I'm not always very patient with platform games that don't nail the controls exactly right. Imagine my joy when I found that, In place of precision jumping, Forma.8 requires precision flying. Based on some App Store reviews, not everybody feels as I do. I reckon some of you will love this aspect of the game and some of you will not. There are a number of Forma.8 purchasers that complain quite loudly about the controls. I found them to be fine. Perfect, in fact. This is likely due to my youthful obsession with an arcade game called: Gravitar, which required extremely precise flying. For this reason, I had no difficulty getting used to dealing with the inertia in Forma.8. That being said, I think the developer would hold onto a few more players if he/she eased up on the inertia a bit. Gravitar also had gravity (which is a harsh mistress), of course, but you won't have to worry about that in Forma.8. But, I digress... Controls are straightforward and intuitive. A virtual stick on the left side of the screen steers your probe, while tapping the right side will activate whatever ability you have at the moment. As you progress through the game, you will acquire new abilities, although finding all of them will require some determined exploration. Metroidvania, indeed. As you progress, you will encounter bosses that must be defeated. Each one of these battles is wonderfully unique, and most of them will require you to do a bit of intuitive puzzling rather than simply rely on mad flying skillz.
Forma.8 is a visual feast. It features vector graphics that look razor sharp at any resolution. This becomes breathtakingly obvious whenever you move into an open space. Your view pulls back until you are but a tiny speck, and in these moments you get a pretty good idea of the scale of the world you are exploring. The sound effects are thankfully subtle, but definitely up to the task of holding up their end of the whole atmosphere thing. The soundtrack is a relaxing new age mix of synthesizer music. I wish, however, that there were a way to adjust the volume of the effects and music independently.
I can easily recommend Forma.8 GO to anybody who enjoys metroidvania-type games. For those not immediately comfortable with the controls, please give yourself about 30 minutes to get used to them, and be thankful that you're not playing the game on a desktop OS where you have to steer using a keyboard instead of the virtual stick that we get to use.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Stylish and super crisp vector graphics with parallax scrolling. Sound: - 4 - Good sound effects and very good music. Controls: - 3/5 - If you're new to precision flying games, you're going to begin frustrated. Once you get up to speed, you will be zipping along in no time. Gameplay: - 5 - I greatly enjoyed the relaxed exploration, interspersed with puzzles, light combat, and full-on boss battles.
Playing Hints and Tips:
If you're stuck, look around for features that look unique to the area, then try to interact with them in any way you can. This is even true in boss battles. Commit to crashing and dying in your first game. Take about 20-30 minutes (if you're new to these types of games) to get used to the inertia of the probe before you throw your phone through the window.