Vectronom is a puzzle/rhythm game that puts your muscle memory to the test and makes you play to its tempo. It’s minimalistic in terms of visuals to the point where everything in the game is made up of simple shapes, ranging from the platforms you traverse to your character, which is essentially a cube. Levels are comprised of platforms that alter their pattern based on the rhythm of the music playing in the background. The audio essentially serves as your cue to move your cube to the next platform. The controls are unsurprisingly just as minimalistic as the game’s visual design.
Player input is limited to the four-way directional movement, which means you can’t move diagonally. The levels and altering platforms are designed around this simplistic movement, however. The altering platforms and impending pitfalls aren’t your only obstacles; you’ll also run into spikes that can take you out should you happen to land on them. Your aim is to memorize the sequence in which the level platforms alter shape and layout, and in turn, progress towards the end of the level. Failing to do so will return you to the beginning of the level. You’re also rewarded for being skillful and completing levels by properly following the beat.
This brings us to the game’s biggest issue: trial and error. The act of memorizing patterns feels like a novelty at first, but it eventually turns into a chore the more time you put into the game, and the more complex levels get. Given the simplistic nature of the game, there isn’t a lot of staying power for solo players. On the plus side, the game doesn’t considerably overstay its welcome and is relatively on the short side. For what it’s worth, the levels themselves are well thought out, therefore they alleviate the aforementioned issues to a certain degree.
A feature that certainly extends the game’s lifespan over social gatherings is its local multiplayer support for up to four players. Given the simplistic controls, it’s possible for each player to play with a single joycon, making it an ideal arrangement for the console’s tabletop mode.
The game’s audiovisual design is on-point for the most part. Despite its minimalistic visual presentation, it sports a very distinct look that’s quite unlike anything else out there. Levels swap through multiple bright colors as platforms alter the shape and the tempo changes. It gives the impression that there’s a lot happening on the screen, even though there really isn’t. It’s almost like a visualization of the output from a DJ’s set.
Vectronom is ultimately designed for a specific kind of audience. Those who are into rhythm games and are familiar with the monotonous trial and error associated with them will certainly find it appealing. Coupled with the multiplayer mode, there’s good value in this $10 purchase for musicians and fans of the genre alike. However, while the concept is neat, there isn’t enough here to appeal to a wider audience.