Momentum is a 3D Puzzle Platformer from the developers at Projectile Entertainment.
Its gameplay takes inspiration from old wooden labyrinth puzzles, with a bit of added flare that only virtual worlds could provide. You’ll start things off with a shiny new ball in the likes of a pinball. A quick tutorial gets you to maneuver your very first playing field, a platform on which your ball will roll and avoid incoming tornados. Mouse or keyboard are your options for controls, and while the first seems optimal early on, later levels soon reveal that the latter is best in terms of precision.
True to its name, Momentum asks you to make the most of, or work against the laws of physics, gravity at its core. Shift across the platform with little precision and accuracy, and the ball will leap over the railing. At first, mastery comes easy, but you’ve guessed it: as you progress, level after level, platforms get tricky. From mazes to rollercoasters, much goes to credit the diversity found in Momentum. Game levels are also well thought out, with longer levels having checkpoints, at times arrows even, to help you reach the endpoint. Such welcomed features for the sake of the user’s experience, as levels become quite complex. Also noteworthy is the timed feature, and the incentives it creates for replay value.
Difficulty increases organically, and scales well with a natural learning curve; racing to the goal is enjoyable once you’ve mastered Momentum’s mechanics.
Projectile also threw in other interesting twists. Eventually disappear the railings that once protected you from a shameful FAIL. Your clumsy mistakes become unforgiving. Vapor fields arrive to throw you off, and buttons appear to move entire portions of the level itself. The result is all about influencing player behavior so that you anticipate and multitask, juggling laws of physics against man-made elements of adversity.
Momentum’s physics are its best feature, which is good news since the game is a puzzle platformer.
The effects slopes have on the ball and your ability to boost and slow down are particularly well implemented, and it pays off in terms of gameplay. The aesthetic, on the other hand, are a bit bland: platforms resemble islands floating above cityscapes and large bodies of water. It's well done, I enjoyed the photo-realism, but from an artistic standpoint, it offers little to distinguish Momentum from its large numbers of competitors.
Music is serene. Peaceful.
It allows you to concentrate, but like the art, isn’t’ anything to write home about. With such a surreal, Escherian title, I would have enjoyed a mystifying and immersive environment, colors which would add to the experience and the aesthetics as a whole. Instead, it seems Projectile went for a clean but slightly boring style.
For the casual gamer Momentum may lack a bit of personality, but makes up for it by offering a fun, well designed, and challenging puzzle platformer to test one’s skills. Levels regularly introduce new features to keep the gameplay fresh, and parkour-junkies will find enough reasons to come back to it, especially thanks to time trials.