Available on Steam, Spheria is a casual-style game that involves navigating a ball over a path laden with obstacles and traps, and with a bottomless pit below. No story to be had, just a series of mazes through which you must roll, starting up generators and breaking colored blocks. You can take the basic route and simply hit your generators to complete the level, you can aim to score medals for breaking the blocks, or earn awards for completing the map in the fastest time possible. Either way, the game is pleasant and offers a decent challenge if you’re willing to undertake it.
There are twenty-five levels (including the five tutorial courses), with a fair diversity in design and some relatively creative ideas. Some segments involve using bumpers to jump gaps, some require careful maneuvering over corners where tiles touch. Most of the obstacles, though, are fairly standard, such as patches that increase and decrease friction, disappearing tiles, and conveyor tiles that push you in certain directions.
Skillful movement takes some practice, as your startup ball is a touch heavy-feeling and slides just a bit. Once you get the hang of it, turning corners and speeding over narrow paths starts to feel more natural. That being said, you will probably fall off the levels quite a few times before you’re able to beat them--even more so if you’re going for all the medals. There are actually death-milestone achievements, the highest being 1,000 deaths (on 25 levels, several of which you can’t actually die on) so best of luck if you’re going for 100% completion.
The style is clean and easy to look at, but largely gray and simplistic, with each course offering the same variety of patterns and obstacles once you’ve passed the tutorial. While the look is minimalist and inoffensive even if a bit bland, the music is more on the lulling side. As far as I could tell there were two tracks, one for the menus and one for gameplay, and again, while fine to listen to it doesn’t really give well to extended sessions. Thankfully this is a casual game that you can play for twenty minutes at a time, so unless you plan on really honing your skills, it shouldn’t wear too thin on you.
Beyond what to expect out of play, there’s not much else to be said about Spheria. It’s fairly simple, not bad but nothing extraordinary. While there are some unique ideas in the course designs here and there, the presentation is a little dull and the game itself is somewhat lacking in content. If additional levels, music, and obstacles were added in the future, it might have more to offer, but for now this game is a decent way to spend extra free time. I’d say whether you pick it up or give it a pass ought to depend on if you’re just looking for a standard puzzle-esque game with a nice difficulty balance, or something with more depth to it.
Black Shell Media
Article by Savhanna