• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

Shop Contact Us Submit Videos Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Apple Watch Best games on Android
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Apple Watch Best free games on Android Competitions
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Apple Watch game sales Android game sales
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Apple Watch game updates Latest Android game updates
New iPhone games New iPad games New Apple Watch games New Android games
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
iPad  header logo


For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone, Steam

Leaps between platforms

Product: FOTONICA | Developer: Santa Ragione | Format: iPad | Genre: Endless running, Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
FOTONICA iPad, thumbnail 1
It might have started life on the PC three years ago, but the second you start it up FOTONICA feels at home on iOS.

It's all razor-sharp leaping gameplay and stark minimalism, like Canabalt's been flipped 90 degrees and zoomed into a first-person view, then filtered through a Rez-like universe.

Immersion is more evident on the touchscreen, and the net result is a frequently exhilarating, demanding title that plays a lot like a stripped-back Mirror's Edge. Had Mirror's Edge somehow arrived during the rise of 1980s vector arcade games.

On the run

A brief tutorial provides you with all you need to know about the controls. Hold the screen and you run forever forwards, increasing in speed with every passing second.

Let go and you soar majestically into the air. Hold the screen again and you prematurely terminate your arc and slowly begin to descend.

Timing is everything, and a single slip-up spells doom. But the viewpoint, visuals, and floaty nature of the jumping combine in a very odd fashion.

Whereas Canabalt has a constant sense of urgency about it, FOTONICA is akin to being trapped in an android's fever dream. Adrenaline-pumping near-deaths are combinined with an odd sense of serenity as you soar above fragmented semi-abstract scenery.

Leap of faith

Without doubt, it's these visuals that first draw you in. Regardless of any vector titles you've seen before, you've experienced nothing like FOTONICA. You're hurtling headlong through rapidly shifting and disorienting environments.

One level might find you racing along a fragile train track, another sees you careening through corridors that suddenly disappear, leaving you in open space with only a sliver of roadway between you and the abyss.

All the while, a kind of incessant beefed-up Kraftwerk worms its way into your brain, augmented only by the breaths of the increasingly desperate runner. Your final goal appears to be a leap into a never-ending white abyss.


FOTONICA isn't easy. It's initially tough to judge distances, and the finite arcade levels provide a stern test from the off. You might spend multiple attempts running headlong into the same platform, before realising that jumping a split-second earlier would afford you a safer landing and a higher chance of survival.

In later levels you almost need to run on auto-pilot. Not least when the screen goes gold, and the audio muffles slightly to signify your speed has reached breakneck levels.

For gaming geniuses who somehow manage to breeze through such dizzying trials, a harsher hard option awaits, along with three merciless endless modes that will tax even the most adept. And on both iPad and iPhone there's a split-screen versus option, for challenging a friend.

In an increasingly crowded App Store, it's exceptionally rare to see a runner that does something different, but FOTONICA is, ultimately, a fairly one-note affair.

It's the execution of that single note that transforms the title into an experience that somehow feels entirely new.
Reviewer photo
Craig Grannell | 15 September 2014
Frequently savage, but ceaselessly beautiful, FOTONICA is ultimately yet another auto-runner, but only a nutter would ignore 'Canabalt meets Rez'
Have Your Say