An XboxHornet review by WDesm
“You had me at Open-Ended and Physics-Based”
In some of my other reviews, notably Gerbil Physics and Along Came A Spider, I’ve extolled the great virtues of thrilling gameplay possibilities through strong physics engines. Well, evidently I managed to miss the herald of fantastic physics engines on XBLIG, because Solar, released back in March 2009, predates them all. As far as I’m concerned, its only crime is that it took me so long to review it.
Solar has you playing as a sun in a physics wonderland, a blossoming galaxy. Your goal, if you can have a goal in a sandbox game, is to build a solar system around yourself – by moving closer to objects, they will sync up into orbit around you, and the circle of (galactic) life begins: First with asteroids, then with planets, and finally with your planets drawing in moons and asteroids of their own. It can even get so complicated as you destroying other suns in a head-on collision, and you can claim their planets for your own. If that doesn’t sound appealing enough, then I’ve got even more good news for you: The base gameplay can be expanded upon by completing challenge modes (and mastering said modes in under a target time), which unlocks optional features and variables to enhance your physics sandbox. The optional features are amazing in and of themselves – some of them (while a minor investment of time to earn) completely change how you can play in your sandbox.
Solar has found the perfect mix of both open-ended sandbox euphoria, and challenge-based physics puzzles. You’ll have a planetful of fun discovering the quirks of the game, and the hours will tick by as you strive to build your very own perfect sandbox “Solar” System. I encourage you to try it out, and considering it’s extra- terrestrial pricing (only 80 Points), you can’t really go wrong!
Game score 9.5/10
Download a free trial of the game here.
Additionally, Murudai (the one-man development team behind Solar) was willing to answer a few more questions about his goings-on recently: While many (including myself) are looking forward to Primordial, an rpg about microbial evolution, it has been put on hold to instead devote time to a DreamBuildPlay entry. We can’t spoil too much about it, but if you are willing to watch this brand-spankin’ new tech demo here , you’ll notice that it plays a little bit like an old Run-n-Gun game (like Metal Slug), but with the quirk of being able to …possess???… enemies. We can’t wait to see it complete for the March competition, but to leave you salivating, we have an exclusive sneak image to wet your appetite: