I am sure there are many games in the Xbox Live Independent Game library that don’t involve being a Minecraft clone. I am going to admit, I don’t venture in there very often, and when I do, it’s because I am looking for something specific. When Resistor came across my desk, I had not seen it in the XBLIGs. The reason was because it was brand new. I fired it up not knowing a single thing about it. While this is sometimes a venture that ends with me seeking out the Xbox guide button as quickly as I can, I am happy to say that was not the case this time.
If it was, I don’t think you would be reading this now. So what is Resistor? It’s part puzzle game, part math quiz.
A start of some sort
I know from my time with SpaceChem that sometimes games don’t need to hold your hand. Resistor exists in the same school of thought. It just starts and waits for you to figure it out. It took a few seconds then I was up and running. You are presented with a power box that contains a number, and your goal is to link that power to a target that also contains a number. The number on the box must match the number on the target. Easy? It might seem that way.
Soon you will be asked to reduce the power of the line. It’s easy to do. You just drop down a box with a number on it. It reduces the line power by the number on the box. Soon I was cruising through the first set of levels. I was feeling good, and I was laying down power lines and meeting my goals. I win!
As you advance through the game, you are given more and more reduction boxes. About halfway through the ninety level run, I started to wonder something to myself. “Self,” I said, “Is this game going to get challenging?” The easy answer is No. The more complex answer is that it doesn’t matter because it is in no way boring. While it will not challenge deeply, it will challenge your math skills. If you want to get the best results from each level, you better be able to do very quick (and simple) subtraction equations quickly. This can result in some frustration, but it can also end in “TAKE THAT TV!” moments. –That is where you point at the evil TV that is abusing you.
There is one thing about Resistor that drove me nuts. The sound design and music are, well, there. I ended up muting the TV and listening to a podcast while I played. The music will find a way to bore into your brain like one of those worm things in The Wrath of Khan. It’s just really not good, not good at all. I think someone has listened to far too much Dubstep. When you finish a level, you are treated to “Lev Lev Level complete”. It takes about 15 seconds to finish a level. So you hear this A LOT! I guess it could be cool, but it’s not. Just annoying. Luckily, it goes away when you mute the music.
Resistor takes one sitting to beat. That is not a knock against the game in anyway. In forty-five minutes, you can make your way to the end and loop back to the start. While I can’t say that Resistor ever presented a deep challenge, there are some puzzles that came close. While I wish it was slightly more challenging (read: mocking me for my lack of brain power), there is some fun to be had in Resistor. As long as your TV is on mute.
In a marketplace overrun by twin-stick shooters and things that look like Minecraft — Woah! This one is Minecraft with Pirate Mummies– it is nice to see something that is trying to do something different. With a few more layers of polish (and a mode that would cause my brain to tell my eyes to cry), Resistor is a nice, quick, good time. I have not said it in a while, but it’s a dollar. There are lots of things you can do with a dollar. Resistor is one of the better things your 80 MS points could go towards.
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