Negative Space Review

Negative Space Review

Jan 24, 2012

I was a very early adopter of the Nintendo DS, and one of my favourite games on that system (which I still own) was WarioWare. If you’re not familiar, WarioWare was composed entirely of mini-games. There wasn’t really a story, just little 3-second challenges that were equal parts fun and ridiculous. And my first and enduring reaction to Negative Space is how much it reminds me of WarioWare. That alone made it worth a look to me, but was it enough to keep me playing?

Negative Space is a brain-teasing puzzle game, designed to make you think outside the box, or rather outside the lines. You have two little blobs, one black and one white, and the goal is to get each blog to the flag of its corresponding colour. You do this by drawing lines in either black or white, and thus either push the blobs along, or create paths for them to fall through. White can’t move through white and black can’t move through black, but they can move through each other. It’s a little confusing on paper, which is why the game gives you a few tutorial rounds to get you comfortable.

The game presents challenges in a number of inventive ways. You can be limited in the amount of ink you have. Sometimes you’ll have an abundance of one colour and a lack of the other. Or you can be limited in the number of lines that you draw. It really makes you focus and concentrate to get past each level, and it’s a great brain exerciser.

Negative Space‘s downfall is unfortunately that it is rather a one trick pony. I worked my way through the tutorial levels and by the time I got to the main game I was…kind of bored. The difficulty curve is awfully steep and the game had used up most of my patience before I even got to the levels that count. I think they need to go back in and add a few easier levels at the beginning, to draw people in (pun intended).

Negative Space Review Rundown

7
Graphics/Sound - This is tough - the graphics are decidedly, and intentionally minimalistic and monochromatic. For a game called Negative Space it makes sense. The SFX are also minimal, with no music. It's too bad, just a little bit of music could make the game much more engaging.
7
Controls - They could be more finely tuned. When a milimeter's difference can mean winning or losing a round there should be a bit more control.
7
Gameplay - Negative Space is meant to be a mental challenge, but it also proves to be a physical challenge as well, trying to draw your lines just right.
7
Replay Value - I found the difficulty curve to be too steep, to be honest. A few early failures quickly did away with my enthusiasm to keep going. But if you have defter hands than me you may be able to continue for longer.
7
Overall - I just found it on the whole to be...kinda 'meh'. Nothing really exciting, and nothing too new. But maybe that's just me and my short attention span. Sorry little blobs, you'll need to find someone else to help you get home.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Angelina Purpura
Angelina is an avid tech fan, amateur photographer, visual artist, foodie, and movie aficionado. She also like cats, rainbows and zombies (but not zombie cats, that would be sad). Tweet her feedback at @Anzi.
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