Developer: Namazu Studios
While originally released back in August for PS4/PC platforms, Nebulous is back this month with Playstation VR support, as well as a new port for Microsoft’s Xbox One. For the purpose of this review we will be covering the Playstation VR release, however the gameplay elements essentially translate identically between all versions.
As a long time fan of the now forgotten series, The Incredible Machine, Nebulous had some big shoes to fill; Nebulous unfortunately completely misses the mark.
What is Nebulous?
Nebulous is a 3D physics based puzzler, in which your goal is to arrange various puzzle pieces to guide Commander Dash Johnson through a series of wormholes to his eventual freedom, collecting stars, and avoiding anything that will result in his death.
The puzzle pieces themselves are more than just obstacles designed to alter Dash’s speed & trajectory, as they all have their own physics altering properties, from altering gravitational forces & speed, to using lasers and meteors to remove obstacles, plus much more.
The playfields are multi-dimensional, with the player able to rotate left and right in order modify the item layout of each dimension, to give Dash Johnson a smooth ride to the exit.
When it comes to VR support, this game is highly suited to anyone prone to VR motion sickness. The player is basically looking at the entire playfield the whole time, with some very minor tilting, and no erratic camera movements to disorient the player. VR mode offers a hands free experience, with players simply shifting their focus to move objects around the playfield.
While the game brings about some unique ideas to the genre, it is unfortunately let down by boring, repetitive and bland level design. Repetitious colour palettes, puzzles constantly repeating themselves, it all adds up to a hugely uninspired art style, culminating towards a bland and monotonous experience. The only redeeming feature of the game is actually the witty dialogue voiced by the games protagonist, Commander Dash Johnson.
The game could have used some much needed polish, including more complex level design, more contraptions; instead, it now comes across as a cheap attempt at a casual mobile puzzle game; somewhat fun to kill half an hour, but not enough to blow an afternoon.
Platform we played on: PS4/VR
Game Score: 5/10
VR Barf-O-Meter: Mild