If the point of a game is to keep you playing, then Velocibox is doing its job quite handsomely. I'm glued to my Vita playing repeatedly… although when I look at my stats, my average game time is around nine seconds at the moment. Yeah. Nine piddly seconds.
Velocibox is burst gaming taken to an absolute extreme. Proclaimed as a "twitch-heavy action game crafted for the hardcore audience," the objective of Velocibox is simple – guide what I assume is the eponymous velocibox, a square block, down a hazard-filled tunnel, avoiding contact with barriers and colored tiles while picking up other square blocks to boost your score. And that's it, ladies and gentlemen. Like I said, it's simple.
However, achieving this objective is incredibly challenging. The speed at which the velocibox hurtles down the tunnel is rapid to say the least, and hazards are rife, lining the walls and floor with barely a gap to squeeze through. But squeeze through you must, as you dodge left and right, and use the jump button to travel along the ceiling. However, when you do jump, rather than you leaping up to the ceiling, the screen rotates so that the ceiling becomes the floor. This actually makes avoiding things a little more complicated, because, once the screen rotates, an object that was to your left is suddenly to your right – so to avoid it, you have to be ready to do the opposite of what your brain was telling you to do just nanoseconds before.
That, combined with the sheer speed of the game, plus the fact that you only have one life results in statistics like mine – an average game running a few seconds initially. When I first started playing, I'd start a game, almost immediately crash into something, and be back at the title screen before I could even blink.
Frustrating? Yes. Yet… I continued to play.
Simple and tough though it may be, there's something about Velocibox that's really addictive in short bursts. With every session I play, I find I progress just a little further. It takes a few games to warm up, but then I'll hit a streak where I'll do really well, before my performance starts to wane. When that happens, I put the game down for a few minutes, but then I'll want to play it again not long after that. It's a great Vita game in that respect – you can pick it up and have a few decent games and it takes up very little time. It's minimalist gaming, but very moreish.
Of course, this kind of gaming isn't for anyone. If you're not up for a really tough challenge, and want more out of your gaming than a minimal endless runner, then Velocibox will get old very quickly. But for me, I really enjoy playing rapid, short rounds of this game in between doing other things. Quite how long that appeal will last I don't know, but I've been playing it on and off for a few days, and it just keeps drawing me back for another quick session.
The game has Normal and Ranked play, and has leaderboards so you can see exactly how you stack up against other players. I'm amazed at some of the scores people have achieved – I can only assume they have Godly reflexes and an incredible memory for patterns. I can't get anywhere close to them!
Despite me enjoying Velocibox, I certainly can't recommend it to everyone. For most, I think it'll be just a little too hardcore to be worth purchasing. However, if your idea of fun is banging your head against a brick wall of difficulty as you explore the limits of your reflexes, then this game will truly test your mettle.
Velocibox is an ultra-minimal endless runner that offers a rock hard level of difficulty that'll test your reflexes to their limits. If you're up for this kind of challenge, it's addictive and fun. If not, you'll probably find it too frustrating to be worth persevering with.