Neon Blitz in Review – Warm Up Your Tracing Skills
I remember being slightly concerned that a simple line tracing game would be a bit on the boring side when Neon Mania came out. It actually wasn’t a bad little game, but it seemed to be missing something. I believe that its successor, Neon Blitz, has found that something. I don’t usually care for games with timers, but in this case it gives the game play an intensity that was lacking in the first outing. I still think it could use a couple of extra game play modes, but Neon Blitz took the concept from a decent but ultimately lackluster game to something that can actually become addictive.
So what do you do in Neon Blitz? Well, you trace lines. You’re presented with a series of images that are broken up into individual line segments and you must trace over all of the segments to complete a picture and move on to the next. The more accurately you trace the lines the higher your multiplier and consequently your score. Every picture also has a bonus on one of the line segments that you’ll earn if you trace over it before it disappears. You get one minute to trace as many pictures as you can, and your ultimate goal is to earn a bunch of stars. At least it is if you want to get some cool powerups.
At the beginning of each round you get to choose three power ups from a pool of five that include Extra Time, Multiplier, Accuracy, Freeze and Finisher. The thing is, you must choose wisely, because these items cost a lot of stars and you only get to use them for one round. While it’s possible to earn lots of stars in a single round, my average seems to be between 50 and 300, and a single power up costs in the range of 1000 to 2500 stars. Of course you can feel free to purchase stars via IAP, but personally I have a problem with buying something that’s just going to go towards in-game consumables instead of permanent upgrades. There are also challenges that pop up every once in a while that can earn you loads of stars, but they also cost lots of stars to play, and if you fail then you’re simply out all the stars you spent to play the challenge.
The game has Facebook connectivity for leaderboards and for sharing your successes, but you don’t have to log in to play the game. Keep in mind, however, that you have two separate star pools – one for when you’re connected to Facebook and the other for when you’re playing “off grid”. Personally, I’d love to see some multiplayer functionality in this game. Why not have a mode both players get the same 10 pictures and the first one to complete them wins, for example? I think there are a lot of ways Neon Blitz could be enhanced with multiplayer modes. A couple more single player modes wouldn’t hurt, either.
The visuals are simple but vey nice. Once you get all the lines lit up on an image you realize how skillful some of the designs are. There are a few special effects here and there, but not much is needed for this type of game. The only complaint I have with the graphics is sometimes it’s hard to tell where one line stops and another one starts. The sound effects aren’t bad in moderation, but the are a couple of noises that I think have to do with certain multiplier levels that get rather grating after a while. The music is actually pretty decent, but quite often gets overshadowed by the noises.
I’m sure the developers probably don’t want me to say this, but Neon Blitz isn’t going to dazzle you with its game play. Instead, it makes you appreciate how fun the simple things in life can be. The lack of different game play modes is a bit frustrating, but the one mode it offers is handled quite well. If this were going to set you back at all financially I’d have a harder time recommending it, but with a price tag of $0 I can’t think of a good reason not to try it.
|Title:||Neon Blitz||Developer:||Vivid Games|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||4.3|