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Fotonica (iOS) review: Infuriatingly fun with a unique art style

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The Good Fotonica has a cool minimalist retro art style and great accompanying music. It has both endless and multiplayer modes to keep the game interesting.

The Bad There is no way to sync progress between your devices.

The Bottom Line Fotonica is a never-ending running game that's worth it for the "Tron"-like visuals and ambient electronic audio.


7.7 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 7
  • Interface 8
  • Performance 8

Fotonica ($2.99, £2.29, AU$3.79) is an endless running game, similar to the popular hit Temple Run franchise. Only, instead of outrunning an imminent threat, the goal in Fotonica is to complete each level with perfectly timed jumps and landings on the fast moving walkways.

What sets it apart from the rest of the runners is that each level is made up of a series of lines that transform into your surroundings as each new section quickly approaches, similar to a racing scene out of the "Tron" movies. The electronic music that accompanies your run changes, complementing each level's look and feel through synthesized sounds.

Gameplay and controls

The first time you launch the app you'll get a brief tutorial demonstrating how to play the game. The control system is extremely simple. Touch the screen to run along the path, then lift your finger in order to jump, being sure to touch the screen again when you want to speed up the landing process.

This one-button control system is great because it makes it easy to pick up and play on your commute, waiting in line at the bank or wherever you are.

A series of eight levels is available in Arcade mode; the goal of each level is to cross the finish line.

Along the way as you jump from platform to platform, pink orbs show up for you to collect. Points are awarded for each orb collected, but reaching the various plateaus to get the orbs is more challenging than just running to stay alive. With bigger risks come greater rewards in Fotonica.

As you perfectly time each jump and landing, your character will speed up. At high speeds, the entire world around you lights up a golden color, adding to the feeling of going even faster. Make one mistake on your timing, and you'll still continue running, but everything returns to normal.

I struggled with the first level more than I'd like to admit. I would get into a pattern of touching and lifting my finger from the screen, landing perfectly and jumping at just the right time. Then I would encounter a new section of the level, only to fall and have to start all over.

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