Sparkle 3 Genesis – What We Think
On the surface Sparkle 3 Genesis by Forever Entertainment S. A. appears as if it would play a lot like a relaxing minimalist game. Its vague, other worldly art style has you traversing many sparsely contained colorful spaces.
Its free-flowing movement, non-restrictive environments and chill soundtrack make it easy to assume you’re in for a enjoyable time. However, Sparkle 3 Genesis under-delivers by failing to create an experience that is as engaging as it is relaxing.
The game starts off at your organism’s birth; you control a snake-like creature whose main goal is to consume Elements and grow. You can move freely in any direction on a flat space with a top down oriented fixed camera angle. Besides moving, you are given one ability that you can use throughout the game and each ability is catered to a certain play style. For instance, the Blue ability lets you siphon ability Elements quickly, the Green ability gives you immunity for a finite amount of time.
Limited Life Choices
Each ability changes up the game slightly but not by much, and the fact that you can only choose one is very limiting. I wish the game let you use all three abilities at any given moment and just required that they needed X amount of Elements to be performed. This would have made the moment to moment gameplay more exciting.
Sparkle 3 Genesis is structured around objective based goals that must be completed in each level to progress. Elements make your creature physically bigger and stronger stat-wise through upgrades using a basic leveling up system. Since every goal is structured around the mechanic of collecting Elements, you figure that collecting elements should be quick and easy, but it’s not. The mechanic of collecting these Elements is too slow. You have to collect one and then wait about a second to collect another one. Since there are so many Elements in each level, it becomes a bigger issue that hampers the game’s flow and pacing. Often I wished I could level up the rate in which I could collect Elements, but there is not way to do so.
A couple of goals involved maneuvering through a narrow pathway while being pushed in a different directions. Another goal involved protecting an egg nest from attacking enemies. These goals sound well and good but when you can’t die and when attacking some enemies involves no more than running into them, it leaves a lot to be desired. And while completing these goals, it really doesn’t help that picking up Elements is such a slow and tedious process.
There is no narrative hook or interesting aesthetic aspect to look forward to as you play. The game ends up feeling too vapid and shallow. In a way it feels unfinished, as if the developers had a foundation of what type of game they wanted to play, but didn’t follow through or iterate enough on their ideas.
I wish I enjoyed the game’s surreal ocean more to help keep me more engaged; the game’s levels are sparse and not really clearly defined. It definitely nails the surreal vibe that the game was going for, but it wasn’t particularly interesting to explore.
Besides a different color scheme, each level has the same feel to it. Levels will also have the same couple of enemies with no real interesting or imaginative designs. It’s a bummer that the surreal tone and visuals didn’t extend into the game’s other aspects. Surreal creatures or even more surreal environments could have made the game more fun to play through.
A further annoyance is that the game’s mini-map blends into the environment too much. It’s hard to see where you were on the map at time because the mini-map has no background color or surrounding border to make it clearly visible. Since you rely on the mini-map often because you will get lost often, it becomes an annoyance.
Sparkle 3 Genesis has a very soothing and enjoyable soundtrack. It’s the main catalyst of making the game relaxing experience and my favorite aspect of the game. The chill-wave soundtrack is filled with echoing electric guitars that are mixed with synthesized effects and beats. It’s enjoyable even though it doesn’t go beyond that, it’s consistent and enjoyable to listen to throughout.
Sparkle 3 Genesis is a game I really wanted to like. It had all the elements of a relaxing, fun experience, but the execution falls flat thanks to uninspired levels and bland gameplay. The game may have benefited from further development to further expand upon its core ideas to help create something more compelling. The game’s saving grace is its great soothing soundtrack though that isn’t enough for me to say I recommend you play Sparkle 3 Genesis.
Watch the trailer for Sparkle 3 Genesis: