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iPad  header logo

Solar Flux

For: iPad

What the flux?

Product: Solar Flux | Developer: Firebrand Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Solar Flux iPad, thumbnail 1
Reigninting half-dead suns sounds like a perfectly pleasant way to waste a few hours, but Solar Flux manages to make the whole thing a little tiresome. This is a game that looks lovely, but frustrates you at every turn with fiddly controls and repetitive levels.

It's not awful, and there's a level of challenge here that many will lap up, but in the end it lacks the spark to really ignite anything other than mild interest in any but the most ardent of physics-puzzle fans.

Solar flare

You play as a small spaceship which needs to collect plasma to relight the fires in a series of suns. You begin in a launching receptacle which spits your craft out with a sling-shot style drag and release.

To control your craft's thrusters you tap behind it, and it'll head off in the opposite direction. Once you've collected enough plasma, you tap on a sun to reignite it.

IAPs explained
You can buy packs of levels for 69p / 99c each. Alternatively, you can just unlock them by playing through the game. How old fashioned is that?
It's a simple enough system but there's a lack of precision that makes some levels incredibly annoying.

Things are okay to begin with, and you're walked through the basics during a selection of simple levels. You learn to aim for the gravity wells of planets, and use the shade of their bulk to protect your fragile ship from the glare of the poorly stars you're trying to set right.

Riding solar waves, dodging through asteroid belts, and snapping back into your launch craft to refuel are all par for the course, but sometimes you'll find yourself retrying the same section over and over, altering your route only slightly as you try and slip through a gap.

The game constantly adds different obstacles to put you off your step, but often asks too much of its own mechanics, leaving you crashing into suns because you overshot by a pixel or two.

In flux

It's a shame, because Solar Flux is full of interesting ideas. With a few balancing tweaks, and some smarter level design it could have been a fresh and exciting physics puzzler. Instead it feels like a wasted opportunity.

If you like your iOS games hard and frustrating then it's certainly worth a go, but if you're looking for a more sedate, fairer experience, then you're better off looking elsewhere.
Solar Flux
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 20 August 2013
It has its moments, but Solar Flux gets frustrating a little too quickly
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