Vectronom (Switch eShop) Review
In a post-Guitar Hero world, music games have been taking forms that you probably haven’t considered before. Merging genres, and using the beat as a guide to play along to, and using abstract shapes to represent the sound are all elements being iterated upon and understood. Vectronom, then, is a good snapshot at what we understand a music game to be today.
The intro may make the game sound derivative or uninventive, but it takes a few strong elements and stretches them a bit farther than we’re used to. That iterative nature also shows within the levels themselves, introducing you to a new concept, then adding more to it to challenge your concentration and rhythm.
Controls are incredibly simple, with the ability to move in 4 directions at any time. That’s right, you can move outside of the beat to the music. But many levels are built on the idea of relying on that rhythm to get anywhere- and your performance is also tracked at the end of each level.
It’s not just your rhythm that’s scored, with collectable tiny cubes to collect in each stage- though, they pop in and out of existence much like the platforms. You’re also tracked on how many attempts, so the completionist in you will have to consider a flawless run, with all the collectables and perfect rhythm.
The abstract, geometric and isometric design of the game really allows for great readability of each level, without being too visually noisy to distract you from concentrating on the beat. This becomes key when different platforms phase in and out of existence with the music, which would be torture if there was anything other than flat colours and shapes.
That spacial awareness really does rely on some innate sense of rhythm, however, with a very unforgivable window to time your movements to at times. There does seem to be a setting that allows you to adjust, but if you’re going in on default, it can lead to some confusing moments where you see your cube fall straight through the ground.
The music cleverly ties into the nature of growing and rising tension, with the layers in the tracks growing in number as the levels become more complex and difficult. It’s a synthy soundtrack that works to give you cues as to which beats are the important ones to move to, making the music and game feel like one and the same.
If you like music games and want a good challenge, I highly recommend Vectronom. A snappy soundtrack that bleeds into the gameplay incredibly well, simple controls and aesthetic, and plenty of goals to chase, it’s an interesting and unique snapshot of a modern rhythm game.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
+ Clean presentation and visuals
+ Music works with gameplay incredibly well
+ Very challenging
- Default setting requires very precise inputs
- Not all that long
- Not good for beginners