inMomentum - Review/ 2,964 Views
Indie games are quickly becoming a sizable part of the industry. These days, it's not uncommon to stumble upon a new game from a small company in places such as Steam, PSN, or Xbox Live. inMomentum is one of those indie titles. Placed in a futuristic world with mono-colored platforms and walls all around, inMomentum challenges you to make it from start to finish as quickly (and awesomely) as possible. But there are myriad of frustrating issues within the game preventing you from doing that.
Your goal in inMomentum is to make your way from the beginning of one of the game's fourteen levels to the end as quickly as possible, while picking up as many of the data spheres as possible. To do this, you must run quickly and jump up and off of platforms with panache and accuracy. However, it is often very difficult to do this. Every time you jump and move in midair, it feels like a giant fan is blowing you forward rapidly, even if your movement forward is very slight. This makes it difficult to make precise jumps off platforms and walls, causing death to occur over and over again. So, you get punished constantly as you try to learn the right level of touch needed to traverse the platforms and jump between walls with enough speed to reach the finish line. In some games, there is motivation to better yourself, but inMomentum is so bare bones that your constant failures are contained in isolation, and you can easily end up lost, unsure of why you keep failing. The disembodied voice in training mode is the only help you get, and even that just covers the basic moves.
It is possible to master these crazy physics and get some fun out of this, but it's going to require a lot of practice to accustom yourself to the crazy speed and bizarre control setup (Jump on right click, wall jump on left click, space bar to shoot? Good thing these settings can be changed!) There are online leaderboards to show the fastest times that players have achieved, so if you really want to prove you can be the best speed runner, you will have that opportunity.
Simple, retro block graphics is what you can expect from inMomentum. That's not a bad thing, as it gives the game some old-school style, but it does make levels look too similar to each other, causing them to blend together in your mind and allowing no level to stand out. You can modify your suit by colors and patterns, but this is entirely superficial and doesn't matter in the default view, which is first person. (You can switch to third-person view by pushing G. Good luck finding that without being told, however.)
Audio is rather simple in this game. In fact, there's just one menu tune and one main tune that plays on all fourteen levels. Neither are bad songs, but they're not memorable, and it will get tiring over time to hear the same music over and over as you fly (and die) in the levels.
There is also a multiplayer mode where you race opposing players to the finish, while using power-ups to improve your speed and jump while hampering your opponents. Or there would be, if anyone was playing inMomentum online. The game lobby was a dead zone every time that I looked, so I was unable to test out the multiplayer mode. It's a shame, because adding multiplayer combat into the standard racing idea sounds much more fun than what I experienced in the single player mode.
It is disappointing that poor controls, punishing difficulty, and a lack of a multiplayer base keep inMomentum from reaching its full potential. The idea of running through areas at breakneck speeds and bounding off of walls with style is certainly a fascinating one. But that dream just isn't achieved here, leaving inMomentum to be remembered only as a missed opportunity.
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