Saturday, December 15

Review: Solar Flux [Nintendo Switch eShop]


The casual game space has certainly filled out on the Switch in the past year and it’s nice to now see titles that offer something a little different even if a bit niche. One such title is Solar Flux, a sort of puzzle game set in space where your tools will be gravity and inertia. If you dig some applied physics in your gaming it may be worth checking out.


Managed completely in handheld mode using the touchscreen the controls are a bit different, though there’s not much to know. While your ship is in motion you’ll be able to touch the screen around it to engage your thrusters, helping to fine tune your trajectory, but keep in mind that they’re intended more as a last resort overall since you don’t have unlimited fuel and the more fuel you use the lower your score in general. It turns out your main sources of momentum are intended to be the initial stations that will launch you in a specific direction, the gravitational pull of planets you’re able to orbit, and solar flares you’ll trigger by shooting energy you collect into them.


The result is a game that requires a heavy amount of precision as you’ll try to chain a series of events that will keep you changing course while you try to minimize your use of thrusters while trying to grab energy but not collide with things like asteroids. At times the control can seem a bit finicky, especially as you get into tight areas with a few things going on at once, but it manageable. There are some things like your shields that I don’t think are explained very well that can result in you blowing up if you’re not careful about how you do some things but you do get a feel for things through trial and error at least. I would say that the criteria for what will award you 3 stars in any given mission isn’t terribly clear so early on I stopped caring about my score.


Overall Solar Flux isn’t a bad experience, but while it’s a unique puzzle experience on Switch physics-based space inertia management games may not be what everyone is looking for. The challenges if offers through 80 missions spread through 4 different galaxies offer variances on the same base concepts and they can be both a challenge to your abilities to plan and execute. Even if it may not carry obvious broad appeal it’s still a worthwhile addition to the Switch lineup.

Score: 6.5

Pros:

  • A unique mix of precision and managing your inertia
  • Some levels will take a plan on how best to grab all of the energy while using as little thrust as possible


Cons:

  • Handheld mode only using the touchscreen
  • A physics-based game set in space may not be something everyone is looking for