8 Dec 2011

Keep on running: InMomentum

The recent deluge of indie bundles has provided me with a chance to go back and check out some releases that I'd missed over the last twelve months. Usually I'd read the reviews, watched the videos, became eager to play and.. ach, was too skint to pay for any of them. Well, the three-thousand-four-hundred-and-twenty-five bundles we've had in the last week have helped to fix that situation. These days - these last few days in particular - we've been able to buy a shed-load of indie gems for practically nothing.

Well, InMomentum was one such game that I'd spotted when it was released last month. Purchased through bundle new-blood, The Indie Gala, it was the first of the games on offer that I loaded up yesterday to play. It's a fairly simple concept. You're a virtual runner within some kind of simulation. You need to get from point A to point B in as a fast a time as possible. There are other things to worry about like orbs and checkpoints but traveling onwards is pretty much your main concern. It's like Mirror's Edge, but also not at all like that game.

On offer are the abilities to wall-jump, double-jump and gain momentum to travel further faster, usually through the air to another set of abstract objects on which you're intending to run along. At first it feels clunky. At first, when the controls aren't mapped to your liking and you haven't yet had a good enough feel of the way you can interact with the world, you fail and fail hard.

I was cursing my luck and gnashing my teeth at first. I was trying to figure out how anyone but a seasoned Quake 3 deathmatcher could navigate such treacherous paths at a velocity greater then that of a three-legged cat.

And then it clicked - and I was flying forwards, bouncing from wall to wall and using the inbuilt ability to slow time to heave myself across gaping chasms to fall with the grace of a young, athletic pigeon. Your association with the controls in InMomentum becomes entirely unconscious, it's twitch gaming in the sense that I could feel my brain twitching as it struggled to keep up with what I was seeing onscreen. And that sensation is the draw of the game. There are online leaderboards to beat and you're able to hook up with other thrillseekers online, but I was happy to play just for the rush of retaining the momentum in every movement I made.

So it seems a fantastic game - there's not a singleplayer campaign to speak of, but it doesn't stop you from giving the odd half an hour here and there to improving your first-person gaming skills. That said, I'll wager you'll never come close to this guy's silky platforming abilities.

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