By – Steven Smith

Collisions Review He

It seems like the phrase “physics based” and “puzzle game” are used to describe every third indie game released these days. Which makes it hard for new games in the genre to distinguish themselves. This was the challenge that 2DEngine took on when they created the physics based puzzle game Collisions.

Collisions is simple in concept, your goal is to get a ball into the level exit. To accomplish this you must activate a series of mechanisms such as springs, gates, pinball style flippers and more. This proves to not be too much of a challenge very quickly, so the focus becomes finding the correct order and timing for each mechanism provided. You may be required to open a series of gates in sequence to allow the ball to roll past, or time the gates so that the ball gets to them just as they are closing themselves. The gates close automatically after a while and, if timed just right, can knock into the ball and cause it to change direction.

At times the precision required to perfectly time a series of mechanisms became fairly tedious. I can say, without hyperbole, that some levels took me 15-20 minutes of trial and error before getting the ball out the exit. There were also some puzzles that felt more like a galton board or pachinko game than anything as it seemed that the ball would strike the same surface over and over but bounce in different ways as result. Completing these levels was more luck than skill as I kept doing the same thing over and over until I got a different result.

One aspect I really enjoyed was the art style. All the gameplay elements are solid black with bright pastel colors in the background. The result is a nice, solid contrast which gives you an exact 2D representation of each level. Had the developers applied realistic colors and textures in the game it could easily have become a distraction for the player. In some levels there is also some background animations, for example there are some birds sitting on a wire who bob their heads and flutter their wings. This minimalistic style is one I’ve seen in other physics based games and it feels right for Collisions as well.

Collisions Review He

Where the minimalism falls short is in the main menu. There are only two options, Start and Resume. There is no way to adjust the graphics or sound settings, though that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The game starts up in a window that’s automatically set to the same resolution as your desktop. Technically this means that you can change the in game resolution by either resizing this game window or tweaking your desktop settings, but it would still be better to have the options in the game menu. The music is slow and somewhat relaxing but only lasts a few minutes before repeating. Leaving the game unattended will cause the musical track to end, but it will start again when you activate a mechanism. If you’re like me and prefer listening to your own soundtrack while playing this style of game, then you’ll be out of luck as there is no way to simply turn off the music or sound effects.

The biggest feature I feel is missing is a level select option. Like with so many other puzzle games there were some levels in Collisions that I thought were really clever or especially fun, however there is no practical way of revisiting them. When first starting the game you are asked to create a profile and your level progress is saved under that name. If you Start a new game from the main menu it will erase all the progress you made with no way of skipping levels back to where you were. I even tried opening up the game log file where saved progress is stored, however I was never able to trick the game into letting me cheat my way to different levels. It is possible to create up to three profiles, but how you change, delete, or even see which profile you are using is not very obvious.

Collisions Review He

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

Overall Collisions is not a bad game.  The gameplay is straightforward and easy to comprehend and it offers some fun challenging levels, along with a few frustrating ones. The lack of options makes it feel like a smartphone or tablet port rather than a fully developed PC title, which is my biggest complaint.  It is also fairly short, consisting of only 50 levels. The asking price of $4 is not too much, all things considered, but I would like to see some improvements made which address my concerns before I could really feel comfortable recommending this game.

Collisions Technical Summary:

Collisions Review He

  • Time Played – 3 Hours
  • Resolution Played – 1280×720
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • DRM – Steam, none if purchased through other outlets
  • Control Scheme – Mouse
  • System Specification – 2.93GHz Intel i7 870, 4GB RAM, GeForce 9800GT
  • Game Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – None
  • Save Game Location – [Install Folder]\Log
  • Availability – Steam, Desura, Indie Game Stand, Itch.Io
  • Demo – No
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  • 2dengine

    Hey, thanks so much for reviewing the game. Some of the things you mentioned have been addressed in the Steam version of Collisions. Unfortunately it takes a bit longer to update it on other portals. Thanks again! ELVH4-7V953-I3JFI