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GLO PC Review

I don’t generally poorly implemented gimmicks in games, gameplay mechanics implemented to cover up subpar, ill thought out games that rely on one aspect to be interesting. With that in mind, I give you GLO on Steam! The latest piece of shovel ware to hit the platform, this time from developer Chronik Spartan.

Gameplay:

A simple platform puzzler, GLO has you controlling a square that must navigate levels to reach the ‘exit point’, represented by another square, by traversing platforms, avoiding some minor enemies and dangers such as bottomless pits. I wish I could say it was overly interesting, unfortunately GLO comes across as rather cliché with a heavy ‘been there done that a thousand times’ element unfortunately. That’s not always a bad thing with games, especially puzzle games, but GLO, beyond its self-touted blackout element, really offers up nothing new alas.

The game employs a ‘blackout’ element, where the whole screen is literally blacked out, except around your ‘square’, the exit point and other direct elements you employ such as the objects you can fire out to aid you. In this regard, this elevates the gameplay beyond poor to slightly interesting. Often, you’ll find yourself blindly leaping to your death over and over and over futilely due to bad or vague clues (or even non-existent ones!), or just due to a ‘trial and error’ element existent in the game itself. It’s fun for the first two or three levels, but four or five in, it gets repetitious, ten, it’s outright annoying. The dark factor becomes irritating and continuing with the game beyond this point becomes an exercise in almost sado-masochism. There’s speed run options as well, increasing the games replay value, which is a bonus, however in a game where the actual gameplay is rather mundane, this doesn’t so much elevate the game as much as it does draw it out needlessly.

Controls:

The game controls well enough via keyboard or mouse, steer your avatar through the stages towards the end through the pitch-black areas. Climb walls, bounce on enemies, fire your little cannon thing and hope you can make it to the end. At least, until you get bored, then you’re likely to not go back for a while, if ever. I know I’m being savage, but honestly, there’s not much more here. A jump button, a shoot button, moving with the D-Pad, that’s it. It’s not in depth, nor does it aspire to be, to its detriment. GLO could’ve been something special but as it stands, it’s doomed to fade into obscurity likely before its even official release date.

Sound:

The sound as I’ve said many times is ‘functional’. Music is average, in game sounds are sparse, but not terrible. This is possibly the best area of the game. While I don’t hold indie games to the same standards of triple A games, we have over time, seen some incredible efforts put into indie games resulting in both incredible sound and graphics. Here, everything reaches only an average level unfortunately.

Visuals:

Visuals are a tricky thing. In some games, they need to be wonderful, in others, minimalistic is best, in others, they’re the least important aspect. Here, they’re truly at a minimum, with primary colours on display in amidst geometric shapes. That’s about it. There’s nothing to wow you, everything runs at a nice pace and it all fits. However, I think the game ultimately would’ve benefitted from some sort of ‘identity’ rather than its purely geometric look. As it stands, it feels like it has a complete lack of identity, harming it in the long run visually at least.

Overall:

I can’t recommend picking GLO up unless you’re really, desperate for a puzzle game. There’s nothing here to really last you, there’s nothing to tantalise or interest. GLO will hold your attention for maybe thirty minutes, then you’re done, likely to never return. Unfortunately, the game may be called GLO, but I just can’t see a bright future for it upon release. Before I finish… please understand if you’re reading Chronik, I can see potential in your higher order thinking here with the game, I can see you’ve got potential and I can see real promise. I think Glo was a misstep but one that was a misstep due to throwing on a rather poor gimmick to make subpar gameplay work. I hope you do create another game, learning from this, so in future we can see what your output can truly look like and celebrate your work together. I look forward to seeing more of your work in future, I look forward to seeing what you can creatively bring to the table!

Pro’s:

  • The blackout concept is at least employed effectively
  • Smooth controls

Cons:

  • Mundane gameplay
  • Unoriginal game
  • Gimmick holds the game together rather than solid level design or gameplay

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