A gorgeous hexagonal endless runner
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 19 Apr 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Unique mechanics, great look, good controls
Grindy, static environments
If there’s one thing I can say about Sparkwave for Android, it’s that I’ve never played an endless runner quite like this one. For better or worse, this is a game with a unique aesthetic and unique mechanics that really shifts the idea of what a runner should be like.
The biggest thing that threw me for a loop with this game is that the level literally builds in front of you as you play through the game. Everything is made up of these polygons and you don’t really have the opportunity to look ahead and see where you’ll end up going like you do in most other endless runners. This means the game ends up being a lot more about your reaction than anything else.
This can turn around and bite you in the butt, though. There are times when I couldn’t quite tell what color a polygon was going to end up being and I’d run into an object thinking it was a clear polygon. This lead to moments of frustration because I felt like I wasn’t able to do anything about not having enough time to recognize a shape before it was too late.
The game is also really grindy when it comes to what kind of rewards you can unlock. You’ll get new skins, but you need to grind up 5000 coins to get one. The good news it that they’re all 5000 coins, so you at least won’t need to eventually end up grinding 20k coins for another lackluster skin.
Sparkwave was refreshing, but ultimately a bit stale. I loved how the game presented itself and the visuals were really unique. But I felt like the game did a poor job leading the players to higher levels of gameplay because it did so in an unfair way.