Sparks will fly.
Imagine a game where the object is to perform a public service. TurnOn challenges players to bring light to the world by providing electricity where there is none. Now this isn’t done by crafting power plants, or making house calls for an outage. Instead, players are a little spark that travels along power lines, restoring that glorious juice that powers all of our devices.
TurnOn puts players in the role of a spark of electricity. The game is a simple platformer, where failure is more on the player than the game. There are not necessarily fail states outside of losing some time. Instead, not bothering to explore every area and discover what each level has in store is the real failure.
Platforms: XB1, PC
Price I’d Pay: $7.99
Sparky (that is my name for him, not the game’s) can jump between power lines, up and down, and back and forth into the background. It is nothing revolutionary or convoluted. If he touches the ground, then the game just picks him back up. As I said it is very laid back. Missions will vary from helping people with simple tasks, to powering up more important devices, but the core mechanic always remains the same.
The game attempts to spice things up later on by adding constantly moving levels. These are fail-state tests of patience as Sparky is rolling down a path, and one mistake starts the whole process over. These levels are frustrating, and ruin the overall calm pace of the rest of the game.
Sadly, that is about all there is to the game. There is just not much here to keep players interested. It is also worth noting that the game feels either unfinished, or so rough around the edges it should have been delayed. Weird movement and glitches crop up frequently, and even times where I was able to do things the game should not allow, such as moving outside the power lines. It feels awkward and disjointed.
TurnOn is a simple game, which is both a blessing and a detriment. The frustrating parts really drag down the overall experience, and the core game itself just isn’t that interesting. Sometimes simplicity is not the answer.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.