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The Collider 2

Score: 82%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Shortbreak Studios
Developer: Shortbreak Studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Racing (Arcade)/ Action/ Arcade

Graphics & Sound:

Okay, so the story goes: the planet Earth is under attack by a giant alien ship and you're its only hope. So, you'll have to jump in a fighter ship and fly right into the larger ship to attack it from within! What? That's crazy! That's unheard of! That's not, like, a major plotpoint of any Star Wars movie that features a Deathstar or Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Or, maybe it's been done. Still, it makes for an interesting run, as you zoom through the innards of this larger ship in your small fighter.

There are different fighter ships to choose from, with their own looks, and while the look of the alien ship maintains a certain... architecture all the way through, you will encounter new things as you go along, with more and more intricate and dangerous obstacles to avoid.

The graphics aren't amazingly detailed, but the undulating walls of certain parts of the alien ship's interior are an interesting effect, especially when flying as fast as you can through the alien ship. However, Collider 2 is built to support the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. If you have either of these, you can play this game in 3D and use your head movements to steer your ship.

The music and sound effects are nice, reminding me of Star Wars... not the sweeping orchestral parts or the emotional overtures, mind you, but the more intense music you might hear during a battle. Also you will receive important messages from flight control when you bang into something and knock out your shields, when your shields become functional again, when an enemy appears, or when similarly notable events occur. This adds to the StarWarsian feel of these tunnel runs.


Remember that game you played that time that had the mini-game part in the middle of it where you had to navigate through a tunnel-like path, avoiding obstacles and, perhaps, picking up some sort of collectibles or power-ups as you go? Come on, you know... perhaps a Skylanders air level or even an old Spyro game... or PilotWings or some substandard Superman game, maybe? Whatever game you've experienced this phenomena in, before, Collider 2 is a game of... just that. There's not a different thing that you do before this or after this, it's just this. It's one wild tunnel-run after another, from the beginning to the end of the level... all the way down.

As you play, the obstacles will get more difficult to surmount. Instead of stationary partial walls, you'll encounter closing gates, full walls with holes, rotating versions of all of the above, lasers and end bosses that will attack you with patterns that will activate nostalgia for any retro arcade game you've ever played. When you feel like you're getting the hang of things, you'll encounter curves in the tunnel. It's a twitch-fest of fast reflexes and reacting - quickly and appropriately - to whatever they happen to throw at you. You can do it, though... we're counting on you; you're Earth's only hope.

Well, since when you die you can come back again and there's a leaderboard with lots of other people's names, I'm guessing you're not the only hope, but you know what I mean. If you'd like to throw down the gauntlet, so to speak, you can opt to play the Survival Mode, which will pit you in a tournament against other players online... well, in a score comparison sort of way. Do your best to get a high score and earn credits and see how you rank against others. I find that I can grind in the Survival Mode a bit to help get enough credits to purchase that ship I need to buy to progress, from time to time... especially if I get some decent awards when the contest ends.

Example of Survival Mode Run (Geck0)


Fast. This game is fast. The largest aspect of difficulty in Collider 2 is this intense speed. One thing that can help, a bit, is knowing when speed isn't crucial. Certain types of levels are races against time (these have a stopwatch icon on the Sector Map). These are all about completing the level as fast as you can. However, in levels where the requirement is to collect alien technology (basically balls of light) or destroy red glowing enemy cubes, your score is based on how many of these you succeed in collecting or destroying, respectively. You will need to use your boost to get through obstacles such as the closing gates, but in general, these are more about attention to the mission, not haste.

Careful use of the power-ups you will find in the levels can also help out immensely. The snowflake-shaped one is the Cooling power-up and it will allow you to use your boost continuously without concern of overheating... while it lasts, anyway. There is also a Shield power-up, which will make you immune to collision damage while it lasts. Be careful not to blow yourself up by overheating from excessive boosting, however, because the Shield won't protect you from that. There is also a Magnet power-up, which will let you collect coins from a distance for a while and a Multiplier power-up, but these don't directly affect your ability to complete a given mission; they help you in the long game, by allowing you to purchase upgrades and new ships.

The coins you collect can be used to upgrade your ship (and these upgrades carry across ships, somehow), to buy additional ships (which are required to access certain missions), to upgrade how well the power-ups work for you (or how long they last when you get them) and... um, to change the color of your ships, if that's something you feel strongly about and you find that you just have way too many coins. Personally, I was usually in an "I need to continue, but I can't until I can afford a new ship" sort of way and never in an "I don't know what to do with all these coins, but I really want to see something in a vibrant blue" sort of place. Then again, I always fly in first person, so I only see the ship when I'm just about to start a level, just finished a level, or while sitting on the Main Menu, so perhaps that's just me.

Oh, one more thing that will prove useful, should you play Collider 2 - any time when there's a time limit, you will know if you're taking too long when things turn red. The coloring of the walls will actually turn red and the demarcation line between normal color and red will pass you up and move off into the distance ahead of you if you fall behind the minimum passing pace. Boost a bit, catch up with it and stay ahead of it if you hope to pass the mission. Why the aliens are so worried about you knowing if you're going fast enough or not is beyond me, but it's a nice added indicator that helps you stay aware of bordering on failing the mission.

Game Mechanics:

There are three things that, to me, make Collider 2 stand out. First, the control scheme. It is simple. Not just a little simple or below average complexity, but truly very simple. This is not a keyboard and mouse game, this is just a mouse game. You don't need more than one mouse button. You move the mouse around to move around in the tunnel as you're flying forward and you push the left mouse button to boost if you need to go faster (such as to make it past closing gates before your path is blocked.) Can you shoot things? Yes. To shoot, you simply line up an enemy in front of you. If you're "locked on," as they call it, or "have an enemy in your sights," if you will, then you automatically shoot at them until they're no longer in your sights or they're destroyed. Simple, simple controls.

The second thing that sets Collider 2 apart is that it not only supports the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, but was evidently designed with the 3D head-motion input in mind. I don't have either of these to play it with, but the game is designed to read the head movements that people would instinctively make to dodge things that appear to be flying toward them and use that to move the ship, rather than using mouse input. Couple this with the fact that you only have to line up with something to shoot it and all you need to do other than move your head is to hold down a button to boost.

Finally, the aforementioned speed. This game is designed to push your reflexes to the limit as you hurdle through the bowels of the alien ship. You'll have to assess what obstacle is in front of you, where you need to be in order to avoid said obstacle when you get to it, and whether you need to boost to get into a better position before you get there. This becomes more of an issue when things start sliding back and forth or rotating into your path later in the game.

Collider 2 isn't the best game out there, it's not a must-have game of the year, and it's not got story above and beyond the premise used to set a theme. That's okay, though, since it's a casual game and is intended to be a simple, twitch-fest that is 3D and motion-controlled. This is not going to be my go-to game that I play in my spare time, but I can see coming back and picking it up if I were to get an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive. It's definitely in a certain niche, but it does a pretty good job of living there. If this sounds like something you'd like to play, check out some gameplay video and then dive in. Especially if you've got compatible 3D hardware with nothing to do.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows Vista or newer, Core2Duo E6400 Processor or better, 4 GB RAM, GT260 / HD4770 Graphics card, DirectX Version 10, 300 MB available HD space

Test System:

[Alienware Aurora] Intel Core i7-3820 CPU @ 3.60GHz, 16 GB dual-channel DDR3, Alienware Mainboard, Windows 10 Home 64 bit, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (4GB), Two Monitors (Samsung S22C300 21.5" / Gateway HD2201 21'' HDMI), 500 GB Solid State Primary Hard Drive, 1000 GB Secondary Hard Drive, Logitech Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury, Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Astro Gaming A30 Headset Black Gaming Headset, EPB Fiber 100Mb Internet Access

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