Odd control movement
The very first point that is made when you check out the website for this game is that Spheres of Chaos is not simply an Asteroid like clone; no, instead the game is something much different. The game is different in the sense of the amount of colours and different effects that are used throughout the game, compared to the simple black and white style that was Asteroids. While this aspect of the game does indeed hold true, the nature of the gameplay is definitely like asteroids, and that is not exactly a bad thing. Granted there have been tons of asteroid like clones that have been released, it can be hard to argue that Spheres of Chaos is one of the better looking and visually pleasing games in this genre. With its abundance of effects, interesting sounds that are used throughout the game and wide variety of modifiable options, make Spheres of Chaos an enjoyable experience, but only in short little game sessions.
There is no story to speak of in this game, your goal is simply to destroy anything that happens to appear on screen and rack up as many points as you can along the way. You control your little ship with the mouse - use the left mouse button to fire your weapons and the right mouse button to activate your fuel to make your ship go faster or to simply escape any incoming danger that your ship may face. You also have a limited amount of lives to survive from the different dangers you will face, however you do have the opportunity to earn more, by reaching different point intervals.
There are plenty of options that are tweakable before you start the game, not only in the area of your controls, but also in the graphics department and gameplay department as well. You can modify the game in different ways, in case you wish to tone down the graphical effects during gameplay or simply to make the game tougher or easier, its all available for you to fiddle around with. It was great to see this feature included in the game. Often in many games, options are not usually tweakable or simply are quite limited, but with Spheres of Chaos you can modify the game to however you wish to play it.
As was mentioned earlier, what makes the game stand out from the other asteroid like games is simply the graphical effects that are used in the game. Much of the effects are similar in nature to other games like Geometry Wars. However, the effects in this game look quite different, with the vast amount of movement that is occurring during gameplay. Even when you boot up the game for the first time, you will see some of the effects play out as you are modifying the options. Yet, this is just a taste of what you will see during the game. From explosions, to fireworks, to even strobe like effects, as you are blasting away the different enemies, the effects take center stage and at times are the main attraction. It looks quite lovely with the amount of effects that are occurring at one time.
However, this can be quite overwhelming for some gamers and may be seen as a distraction. While the graphical effects are nice to look out, I do think that at times it can be too much to handle. While you may be trying to concentrate on the action on screen, the effects at times can make it hard to see the different enemies as they are moving to destroy you. Much of the effects luckily can be turned off or simply minimalized during gameplay, but considering this feature is one of the key elements of the game, it is a shame that some gamers may need to resort to this, simply because the effects become too much to take during the game.
Despite the effects, the action is definitely solid as you are blasting away the enemies. You face a certain amount of enemies and obstacles in each of the different levels, and once you destroy everything on screen, you will move onto the next level, as more enemies and obstacles are thrown into the mix. You also have the ability to collect powerups as you destroy the enemies. What is interesting about the powerups is that if you fire your weapon at the triangle like object, it will make a nifty sounding effect, which is quite cool to hear. The powerups you can collect range from stopping your enemies from moving, to a magnetic effect that will draw ships closer to yours. There is certainly an abundance for you to collect in your journey.
While Spheres of Chaos looks quite different from other asteroid like clones that are available, it definitely plays like asteroids and does a solid job on this front. With the amount of modifiable options and nifty graphical effects in the game for you to see, the game is definitely quite fun to play. The controls certainly do take some time to get used to, especially with the movement of your ship, but nevertheless if your looking for a simple action like game look no further than Spheres of Chaos.
Review by: DeathDude
Safe for all ages
(A PS2 running Linux)