Two of the most popular video games back in the early days were Space Invaders and Asteroids. Those titles are still considered to be classics by many retro gamers today. That’s what I couldn’t help but think of when I played Futuridium. But even though it bears a resemblance to the classic space shooters, Futuridium has a cool style all of its own.
Futuridium is seperated into two modes: ‘original’ and ‘remix’. Both these modes are fundamentally the same, but with some minor differences. The object of the game is to pilot a spacecraft through incredibly vibrant levels. Your goal is to shoot targets, which happen to only be cubes, in succession—thus racking up large combos in the shortest amount of time that you can manage. While it sounds simple enough, there’s a catch. Your spacecraft moves on its own, leaving you to only control its left and right movement, along with its speed. In original, your energy gradually depletes, leaving you to avoid crashing into any obstacles or being destroyed by hazards, as that will cause the energy of the craft to decrease at an even faster rate. If the craft is completely destroyed, then it’s game over. The difference with ‘remix’ is that there are less points to obtain, but a greater focus on survival – crashing even once will completely deplete your energy.
Futuridium is a fully fledged arcade-style game. This means that there aren’t any save points, so each time you play, it’s simply a matter of seeing how far you can go and how many points you can score before you inevitably lose. At the end of every level, you will be graded on your performance. Naturally, the better you do, the higher you rank. Getting a solid grade will then lead to earning medals, giving you a constant incentive to do your best. While the gameplay is definitely simple, that’s what makes it so charming. I found myself coming back to it again and again, because I was determined not to be tripped up because I made a silly mistake. It’s great that the controls are so easy to learn, because the levels themselves can be quite challenging. The gameplay isn’t exactly the same as the classic space shooters, but it’s simple and addictive design is very reminiscent of them.
If there’s one factor that’s a real throwback, it’s the visuals. The game is in full 3D unlike the classics, but it has a very retro style to it. Or rather, I should say it’s a funky retro style. Futuridium throws colors at you almost immediately, making it seem like a psychedelic mind trip more than a space shooter. Objects glow and pop around you, making each level feel alive. This is combined to the awesome techno soundtrack which features a variety of songs that drive you to keep on playing. The overall presentation was definitely very good, and compliments the gameplay nicely.
There really isn’t much of anything for me to complain about when it comes to Futuridium. It’s a simple, but fun arcade style shooter that draws you in with its addictive gameplay and awesome presentation. With a price-tag of only $10, MixedBag Srl’s colorful shooter is easily one of the most original and enjoyable games out on the Wii U eShop right now.