Technosphere Reload – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle game
Developer: Adaptive Game
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Platform: Switch, Steam
Tested on: Switch

Technosphere Reload – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: Gorgeous lighting and shadow effects
Bad: No music while you're playing the game
User Score
8.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

The concept of navigating a ball through a maze or obstacle course as a test of skill has been around for centuries. Video games have made ample use of this, with examples like Katamari, Super Monkey Ball and even certain parts of the Metroid series springing to mind. Technosphere Reload is another incarnation of this trope. We took the technosphere for a spin to figure out if it’s worth your time.

Story

A short text blurb accompanied by futuristic images informs us that it’s the year 2590 AD, and the Atlas Corporation is harvesting crystals from the inside of an asteroid that is orbiting Earth. Unfortunately, an accident occurs and the asteroid is thrown off its corrected orbital course. As it hurls towards Earth, humanity is doomed…. Unless the orbital system is rebooted. The only way to do so is with the Technosphere, a high-tech remote-controlled ball, that must be navigated through the insides of the asteroid. 

Graphics

The visual appeal of Technosphere Reload has to be acknowledged here. It’s not the most impressive looking game, but within the parameters of the setting, it looks gorgeous. This is mainly due to the fantastic lighting effects and how they interact with the myriad of reflective surfaces. The technosphere itself and the 3D environments it interacts with are relatively simple models and if you were to look at everything up close you’d notice that the in-game models used aren’t very detailed. Surprisingly, Technosphere Reload manages to defy expectations anyone would have for the graphical appeal of these models. It’s an extraordinary showcase of clever trickery with light and shadows. Consequently, the cavernous environments feel much larger than they actually are. 

Sound

With a title like Technosphere Reload and screenshots that show neon lights bouncing off metallic surfaces, you’d expect the levels to be accompanied by suitable electronic music. Unfortunately, there is no music to be found in the game. This does add to the sense of being alone on an asteroid that is devoid of life, but that isn’t what this game focuses on. In fact, the limited environmental sounds and lack of music detract from the entire experience. The main sound you’ll hear is the whirring sound of the technosphere as you navigate it through the levels, but we highly recommend putting on some tunes in the background, as the lack of music makes for a very dull time. 

Gameplay

In order to save humanity, you need to steer the technosphere through the asteroid and reboot the orbital system. That’s a lot of words, but it all boils down to a much simpler premise: get the ball from point A to point B. Okay, maybe it’s not THAT simple -this is a puzzle game after all. As such, you’ll encounter plenty of puzzles and obstacles. You’d think humanity would have come up with an easier way to reboot something their lives depend on, but here we are. You have 10 hours to complete your objective too, something you’re constantly reminded of by a timer on top of the screen. While this does add a sense of urgency, it’s imperative to take your time to overcome the obstacles along the way -some of the trickier parts of the game require careful timing and even more careful navigation. 

Controlling the technosphere is easy enough: the left stick steers the technosphere and the right stick controls the camera. Pushing the A button allows the technosphere to jump and the B button acts as an instant brake, bringing the sphere to a complete stop. Puzzles range from pushing blocks around to hitting switches that activate lifts and move platforms around. The puzzles aren’t difficult to figure out and the difficulty lies more in timing jumps between platforms and making sure you don’t fall. Some of the jumps require you to collect energy orbs and boost your jump at the right time in order to reach the other side. If you miss a jump or accidentally roll off a platform, the technosphere will plummet into the depths, before dramatically exploding. You’ll use up one of your lives and return to the last checkpoint. Unfortunately, these checkpoints are spread out far too wide, and you’ll be forced to replay certain parts a frustrating amount of times. There’s sometimes more than 10 minutes of gameplay between two checkpoints, and with no manual save function, you’ll spend far more time in certain parts of the game than you’d like. 

There’s very little freedom in your journey too. Technosphere Reload is a very linear game, where you simply follow the path and deal with obstacles on your way. It’s an approach that allows you to focus on controlling the sphere and solving the puzzles rather than figuring out the best possible route. A testament to this is the absence of an on-screen map, although there is a compass to help you orientate and prevent you from rolling back to where you came from. The aim here is offering satisfying gameplay but unfortunately, this means that other areas are lacking. While the game looks gorgeous, it also feels very empty, something that isn’t helped by the lack of music. Additionally, on-screen text could have used some polish, being littered with errors in grammar and spelling. 

Conclusion

Technosphere Reload is a mixed bag. On one hand, the game looks fantastic, puzzles aren’t too difficult and controls are responsive. On the other hand, the sparse sound design, lack of checkpoints and the empty world really hurt the experience. Technosphere is a decent game if you’re looking for a puzzle experience that encourages you to take your time instead of rushing through the game -even though there’s that 10-hour deadline ticking away. If you’re looking for a game that offers a quick rush of excitement, however, look elsewhere. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Technosphere Reload - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Sebastiaan Raats
Sebastiaan Raats


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