By – Carter Rinaldi

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Fermi’s Path has you playing a particle named Fermi traveling through subatomic space. On this musical path that spans 23 levels, Fermi leaps over obstacles and battles against enemies all to a fantastic beat. Fermi’s Path attempts to innovate on this fast paced twitch style genre, but are these innovations for the best?

The gameplay is simple enough and those who have played similar fast paced titles before will instantly recognize its deceptively easy first levels. Fermi spins around a pole in 90 degree increments to avoid various (moving and static) obstacles. Just in case you started feeling too safe the game adds enemies to the mix who will shoot at Fermi. You can choose to either shoot back at the foe, or simply dodge them. I found that during my playthrough it was easier moving to another side of the rail so I could avoid enemies due to the fact that they can’t actually move. There were some times that I actually had to shoot them to avoid losing a life, but the majority of the time enemies felt lackluster and not important, though I do like the idea of them. Their implementation forces you to think fast and plan how you will deal with each one on a second by second basis, but once you realize how easily they can be avoided, they become just another boring obstacle.

Being a musical game, you would think Fermi’s Path would be brimming with an excellent soundtrack. However, you will hopefully understand my frustration when I tell you there are only 17 tracks to its 23 levels. Hearing repeats is not fun at all and I actually found myself hoping to get a different song after a level ended, something I should not be doing. My annoyance aside, the tracks offered complement their levels very well.

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The difficult levels are designed with the song that accompanies them in mind, something I very much enjoy. The coins that Fermi collects during these levels, as well as the special coins that give you more points than usual all synced up to the music. Everything seemed to flow wonderfully, until you get a boost. The boost can be helpful, especially to a high score craving gamer, but as a casual player of this game all the boost did was dampen the music and make it easier to hit obstacles. I actually found myself avoiding boosts to make the game more manageable and keeping myself immersed in the music. This is pretty sad, considering everything seemed to flow so well with the music.

Along with the nicely flowing level design Fermi’s Path features a beautiful color palette and pretty graphics. However, that may actually be a bad thing. During my playthrough I found the graphics and colors to be a major distraction, I couldn’t help but feel the pretty graphics were holding the game back. In this case, simple, clean graphics would’ve done wonders for this game as this genre is more about the fast, fluid gameplay than the graphics. If I have to block things out in order to complete a level or enjoy myself, there are issues.

This game is a haven for the hardcore gamer who strives to be #1. The leaderboard system and secret levels for extra points all seem to call out to that kind of gamer. If you’re a big fan of games like Super Hexagon or Super Meat Boy then you will adore this game and probably sink countless hours into it and its workshop levels.

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Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

Fermi’s Path tries to fit into both the twitch and musical genres, but sadly, does neither of them well. It is very hard to enjoy the soundtrack this game boasts when you are focusing on the extreme difficulty of the level. If you’re really into these two genres, then I recommend it on sale. But for full price there is just not enough value in this game to justify the $8.99 price tag.

Fermi’s Path Technical Summary:

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  • Time Played – 6 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – Few, not common
  • Control Scheme – Keyboard & Mouse
  • DRM – Steamworks
  • System Specs – AMD FX-8320 @ 3.5GHz, 8GB RAM, XFX R9 290
  • Game Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Steam
  • Demo – Yes
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