Turn On – Review

Turn On is a game from Brainy Studio and is a game about restoring electricity to a town. There is an accident at a power station and the only way to restore electricity to the city is by solving some platforming puzzles as a living electric spark. The development team likes to describe this game as a platformer without platforms. While you don’t use platforms per se there are electrical lines and such that you use to traverse the levels so those could be considered as “platforms.” Turn On has a cute art style and a soundtrack that I enjoyed listening too. I enjoyed the vast majority of the game but there are a couple areas where the gameplay does fall a bit short.

turn-on-2As you progress in the game you will make your way through different zones in the city. As you progress the puzzles and “platforming” that you encounter get a bit more challenging as you would expect. With that said this is a fairly easy game to get through except for a few of the levels. The levels in Turn On go from left to right and there are platforms both in the foreground as well as the background. You’ll have to navigate your way through these levels and do what you can to restore electricity which includes turning on electrical breakers, going by a street lamp to give it power and more. The gameplay is fairly easy and really only uses a couple of the buttons on the controller. You basically jump and then you can also drop down if you need to get to a lower platform or to the foreground if you happen to be in the background. I had a pretty good amount of fun in these standard levels as even though the overall objective was the same in each level there were sub objectives to complete such as turning on an “I Love You” sign so a guy can properly propose to his girlfriend or restoring power to a ferris wheel so you can help the people who are stuck on it.

While I had fun with a majority of the levels there are some I really didn’t like. I’ll refer to these as the “boss” levels. When you finished lighting up a section of the city you would encounter one of these “boss” levels that would transport you to the next section. The problems with these levels was that even though the game still went left to right you always had to be moving. The camera was constantly moving to the right so you had to make quick decisions and dodge the “evil” electricity that was laying around. Your health is basically three lightning bolts and if you run out of them then you have to start out at the very beginning of a level. That got to be really annoying especially if you were nearing the end of a level and then you had to start over. If you simply missed a jump or fell to the ground and died that way you wouldn’t have to start at the beginning though as long as you had made it to a check point. There were times during these levels where the camera would really speed up too so you had to make really quick decisions about whether you jump up or drop down and if you make the wrong move then it could be game over, so to speak. The problem here is that the gameplay is not nearly refined enough for what they are expecting you to do. There were many times when I was on the middle power line and then had to drop down to the bottom and quickly back up to the middle. If I dropped down to late then the controls weren’t responsive enough to allow me to jump back up to the middle, even if you landed on a lighted up spot. If you were too close to the judge and pushed the jump button it wouldn’t register in time and then you would quickly fall to the ground and have to restart at the checkpoint. It got to be really annoying and is one of those things that marred an otherwise fun experience.

There really isn’t a whole lot other to say about Turn On. It is from a small studio where only four guys worked on it and they did a pretty good job with it. As I said above I enjoyed the majority of the game but the gameplay could have been a bit tighter so those “boss” levels weren’t so annoying. The game is fairly short which I don’t have a problem with but I know there are others who don’t like short titles. If you want to play a quirky and fun indie title on your Xbox One then be sure to give Turn On a try.

Score: 7/10

Originally posted on Gaming Target

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