How do you properly rate a glorified Flash game? That’s the question I found myself asking as I played through The Collider.
Developed by Shortbreak Studios, a sub-studio of Dead Island developer Techland, the game comes to Steam alongside iOS/Android versions. Generally speaking, I have nothing against Flash games, mind you. Heck, I’ve spent more time on sites such as Newgrounds and Kongregate than I’m willing to admit. However, I also don’t have to pay to play those games, which is why I would never rate them outside of a “Fun” or “Not Fun” score. So, I suppose the real question here is whether or not this game is worth paying money for.
There is no plot in The Collider, as the only goal of the game is surviving 10 levels of increasingly difficult obstacles. Since it’s devoid of both a storyline and characters, instead of having an actual ship to pilot, players must control a white dot. Yes, you read that right, you are just a dot. It’s not just the fact that you control a dot that kills me, however, it’s the fact that there is no way to change that. There are no other shapes to use, nor are there any additional colors to select. There is zero variety here.
Although the lack of any type of variety is frustrating, The Collider at least does what it sets out to do well enough. While the moniker of being “The Fastest Game On Steam” may be a slight hyperbole, that doesn’t change the fact that the game is incredibly fast and maybe even a little furious. You need to have excellent reflexes in order to survive the later levels, as it is more than adept at providing a stern challenge.
Speed isn’t the only thing that can kill you here though, as you must also navigate through a series of holes in each level. Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, these openings are increasingly difficult to reach as the game progresses. While you tend to see the same patterns repeated over and over again, at least Shortbreak Studios does a solid job of switching things up when these patterns show up during each run.
The colorful graphics are also a welcome surprise here. Each of the ten levels features its own unique color scheme, with each color having a neon flair to it. While you are still doing the same thing over and over again, at least the colors are nice to look at. The pulse-pounding soundtrack is also appreciated, and does a solid job of making the game feel more intense with each passing second.
However, while the game does what it sets out to do, that’s also the only thing it does. There’s a stunning lack of content included here, as it only features one mode and online leaderboards. I suppose there are options, such as the ability to switch to fullscreen and the speed at which the cursor moves, but those hardly count as features. The lack of options is fine for an online flash game or a free app, but even at a low cost, this is kind of inexcusable.
In an effort to give The Collider some type of variety (and something for me to talk about), I began to experiment with playing it in different ways. I gave it a shot after taking my contact lenses out, I tried it after taking sleeping medicine and I even tried playing it after consuming a few drinks. And while it was certainly more difficult under each of those restrictions, that doesn’t change the fact that it was the exact same thing over and over again. I can’t reiterate enough how much this kills any appreciation I had for it. I have played free games online that have had more variety than this.
When it comes down to it, I have a hard time getting over the fact that Shortbreak Studios is charging $2.99 for a game that has so little content. Why can I get the same game on the App Store for only $0.99, but have to pay $2.00 more for this version? I’m assuming it’s the same basic game, so it doesn’t seem right that they would charge extra for it here.
Writing this review has been difficult because there isn’t really a whole lot to talk about. At least with other terrible games, I can criticize a multitude of things. Here, the only thing I can do is talk about how little there is to do. So even if The Collider does exactly what it sets out to do, it’s impossible for me to recommend because I just can’t justify paying money for something that has so little content. This may be something you can get away with on the App Store, but on Steam, where you can find a handful of excellent games for the same cost or less, it’s unforgivable.
This review was based off the PC version of the game, which we were provided with.
Severely lacking in content, The Collider is impossible to recommend, even if you consider the fact that it retails for only $2.99.