After the success of Limbo with its unique silhouette aesthetic, a number of games have taken that idea and run with it to varying degrees of success. Forma.8 is one such game that presents an interesting variation on the idea but lacks enough originality to really make it stand out from the mass of other games on the market. The frustrating lack of direction around what to do with some environmental puzzles and boss fights makes the game unnecessarily confusing and bloats the play length. There is fun to be had here but its sporadic at best making Forma.8 a good but largely uninspiring Indie game.
The level design is good and there’s a consistency to the aesthetic.
What Forma.8 lacks in story and direction, it compensates with fun gameplay mechanics. You take control of a small, black orb and fly through various areas in a series of joined mazes to get to the end. With a number of environmental hazards, puzzles and a host of enemies waiting for you in each location, Forma.8 does do a good job with its level design; the game slowly increases in difficulty and various puzzles are ingeniously crafted. The added ability to fire mines that explode after a second or so and a shock-wave ability that does damage to nearby enemies helps shake up what’s otherwise a mellowing experience. It’s a pity that Forma.8’s directionless sections stifles progress to the point of frustration. With no clear instructions around how to beat bosses and some sections requiring tedious backtracking, Forma.8’s fun comes in bursts rather than a sustained period of time and it weakens the overall appeal of this title.
Unclear instructions make boss fights harder than they should be.
To try to combat this, Forma.8 plays host to a number of items to collect including gears and flowers. Whilst collecting these doesn’t necessarily change the game or enhance the gameplay in any meaningful way, it is a welcome distraction during some of the more monotonous areas. The enemy design is largely good, with some sections awe-inspiring; behemoths lumbering around and well designed bosses to defeat are certainly a visual delight. The actual means to beat these bosses is far too confusing though and detracts from the overall experience. It’s a real shame because when Forma.8 is at its best, especially during some of the latter harder sections, it’s really good and the responsive mechanics and lazy, slow flying do a good job of heightening tension during these moments.
Environmental hazards like this one give little instruction on how to progress
Despite its positives, Forma.8 feels largely familiar in its presentation and gameplay style. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before and the enjoyment from this title is sporadic at best. A lack of instruction at key sections of the game unnecessarily stifles what’s otherwise a good Indie game experience. Forma.8 ultimately falls in the same category as most of the other games that imitate Limbo’s unique presentation though. Whilst there’s fun to be had here, its unlikely Forma.8 will leave any lasting impression or be remembered for years to come once you’ve completed this relatively short game.
Verdict - 4/10