Solar Blast – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade game
Developer: NeatWare
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Solar Blast – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: Easy to pick up, Quite addictive
Bad: Not a lot too it
User Score
3.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 3.5/10 (2 votes cast)

With arcades across the world closed due to the pandemic, it’s kinda handy that so many consoles are being utilized as stand-in arcade machines. In Solar Blast’s case, the game started out as a free phone app that was ported to the Switch for a more hands-on experience. Simplicity is the name of the game (pun intended) but sadly the result is that Solar Blast is a perfect example of why having too little content does work to your disadvantage.

Story

As it is an arcade game, Solar Blast does not have a plot. There really isn’t anything to say here and if you don’t read the game description you might even have missed the part where it explains you are defending our own sun, in our own solar system. Not that it matters much.

Graphics

The graphics might be the only place Solar Blast’s more minimalistic style comes to its full right. Without much decoration or fancy tricks, the game manages to still look good and visually interesting. The smart choice of colors for the different projectiles coming your way contrasting with the background makes it easier to play even when the screen gets crowded with missiles. The fact that your remaining lives are visualized as translucent rings existing around the sun is also a nice choice, as opposed to the more classic but boring heart icons.

Sound

Sadly the same thing we mentioned about the graphics can’t be said about the music. It’s understandable that Solar Blast doesn’t have a big soundtrack, especially since it started its life as a phone app meant to be played in short bursts rather than extended periods of time. But there is literally only one track in the game, continuously used in the background. The loop is near flawless, yet it’s also impossible not to become sick of it in due time. The sound effects are fine but overall it’s not the best sound design out there.

Gameplay

Solar Blast is an arcade game with very straightforward mechanics and not much else beyond a base level. The orb in the middle of the screen represents the sun. All you have to do is move the small shield around to repel the projectiles coming at your little sun. At first, this might seem easy, when there is only one missile coming your way at a time, but as the game progresses the pace picks up and more will approach at the same time. There are even different types of projectiles, such as ones that bounce back or come at you at an angle.

To help you along the game has power-ups. These can range from ones that temporarily make your shield bigger – which means you can cover more ground – or a full-on blast that clears the entire screen. They are thrown at you rather randomly. Each level only lasts a few minutes at most, making the game easy to get through. Technically things are supposed to get harder as you go, but the game is so forgiving in the way it hands out lives, it’s nearly impossible to die even on harder levels. The start of each new level also gives you a new life, and throughout the levels, extra lives are also sprinkled in among the power-ups. This means you would have to be hit four times in quick succession to die. The game allows you to restart from any level once you’ve cleared it, so even if you manage to die, it’s easy to pick back up again.

Conclusion

Solar Blast delivers what it says on the tin, as little as that is. It’s fun for a short while, not too complicated, and that’s exactly where its weakness lies. Even on the Switch release, it feels like a phone app through and through and that’s just too bad.

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Rating: 3.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Solar Blast - Review, 3.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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