My latest review is for Spark Five from TechBridge Interactive, a puzzle driven game with action elements available on Steam for PC. Control your character through a maze of laser beams, missiles turrets, walls and other dangerous elements in an attempt to locate Bio-Mass objectives and then locate the destination to exit the level.
About Spark Five
In the near future, humans are terminated at the hands of their own creation. Artificial Intelligence proved to be the last major invention by mankind. Realizing that the inevitable end was drawing closer every passing minute, multiple organizations came together to create a consortium of sorts.
Project Spark was initiated, its sole objective being the restoration of intelligent organic life that would be capable of defeating the dominant Nemesis A.I. Taking advantage of a split in the Nemesis’s personality, scientists went on to create a powerful android that would pursue the desired objective long after humans ceased to exist.
While navigating the map in Spark Five you will run into enemies that will kill you on sight. It is very important to avoid them at all costs. Once spotted you have no time left to escape and will have to retry the level. You can kill them however by placing a Bomb in their path, and once killed they will not return. This allows you to move past their last location and continue the hunt for Bio-Mass. You only start out with a few bombs so use them to get by the enemies that seem impossible to get by otherwise.
Another option to search the level is to deploy a Replica of yourself. This replica will allow you 30 seconds to explore the map briefly to see what enemies or dead-end walls lie ahead but make sure you get back to your placed replica point before the timer runs out.
Graphics & Sound
The color scheme of the game is great. I like the blue look of the earlier levels and how the different aspects of the map are easily identifiable once you learn what to look for. When you transform yourself into a replica you become an orange ghost of your previous self that looks good.
The sound effects are sci-fi in nature and signal the changes you make to the level as you progress. All the while intense music is playing which is fitting given the similarly intense gameplay.
Being a puzzle game, the gameplay performance is fine. No stuttering, lengthy loads between screens or input lag while playing on a moderate gaming PC. The developer’s graphics recommendations are very reasonable; 3.0+ GHz Quad-Core cpu, 4 GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000 2 GB. Given those recommendations, this game should easily play well on most systems.
While playing the Spark Five game for this review, I frequently had to restart levels. It can be difficult to know where to go next which is a part of the game’s style. Once you get good at using your abilities to get further in the level you will gain confidence in how to try it again differently when you get caught.
After dying in a level, a handy thing to study before restarting is to look at the maps preview image. Before starting you can look at an overview map of what it looks like and trace your path in your mind to see places you missed. The preview map is very small, but information can be gleaned from it.
When back in the level, another thing to pay attention to is which way the walker enemies will turn. Some make only left turns, some make only right, and others make one left and one right. Study this while walking around. I felt that the challenge was high, but not so much that it prevented me from wanting to try the level again.
If you’re a fan of puzzle games then Spark Five may be right up your alley. Be warned that you will be expected to die as you try the levels because of the learning nature of the game. Each level is trial and error because you don’t know where the objectives are or which way to turn when you are trying to avoid the enemies. I definitely enjoyed playing the challenging levels and plan to keep trying to get further in the game.
The Spark Five game is a bargain for puzzle lovers, priced at just $5.99 on Steam for PC. Visit the Steam store page to learn more!