Boson X Gets On Y (Where Y = Steam)

The grubby secret of science is that most of it performed by pipetting liquid from one petri dish to another. That’s why so many trained biologists become videogame writers instead; games are more fun. Boson X knows this. You play a “maverick physicist conducting high-energy experiments,” but you perform those experiments by running and jumping around the inside of a particle collider. Ben liked and linked the (still available) free version last August, and now it’s getting a more robust Steam release tomorrow.

Details and a trailer are waiting for you below, in the testing chamber.

Steam contains a few of these ‘runner’ games now, though the rotation mechanic is a little bit left-then-right-then-left-again of the norm. You can sprint through those tubes as either one of two human professors, or as “the rodent-controlled robotic lab assistant”, though I’ve no idea if there’s any difference beside the player model. You can also sprint through eighteen different levels and compete for faster times on leaderboards.

It sounds pretty straightforward then, which accounts for the $2.99/£1.99 price tag. If you need convincing, the free version is still available for download for Windows, Mac and Linux via the Boson X site.

9 Comments

  1. SuddenSight says:

    Hello! This is your local “flash game did it” curmudgeon, here to tell you the runner-with-rotation has already been done as a free flash game! Here!

    However, I decided to go beyond my curmudgeonly duties and investigate the free version of this game to compare. They are different! Here are some thoughts.

    Run3, the latest and greatest version of the flash-game-with-a-similar-concept, only rotates the level when you bash into a wall (it then rotates so that wall is the floor). This basically allows you to easily rotate to any of the lower half of the “pipe” you are running down, so inescapable deaths are relatively rare. However, Run3 has a fixed jump arc that means you must plan each sequence of jumps so you don’t end up overshooting a platform. Run3 also has hand-made levels, not randomly generated levels, and the obstacles are limited to holes in the ground and crumbly floors. This makes it easy to replay the same level over and over until you memorize it, which becomes necessary for some of the later levels which are brutally spaced so you must ration your jumps very carefully. There is an “infinite” mode which I believe is randomly generated, but I haven’t tried it extensively.

    Boson X has more obstacle variety and stricter controls. You can only jump side to side by one “panel” at a time, which can frequently put you in a inescapable situation if you didn’t see a dead end coming. The levels are randomly generated and you can’t see very far ahead, which felt unfair to me at first, but with practice you can learn some pattern to the level generation that allow you to predict possible dead-ends and traps. The levels also have different “heights” (distances from the pipe center) which introduces more variety in the kinds of jumps you must perform.

    In the graphics and sound department, Boson X definitely looks better, but neither game will dazzle your graphics card. Both games have nice music and minimal noise other than feedback for obstacles and failure.

    Perhaps most notably, Boson X innovates on the typical goal of runners: rather than simply running really far, your goal is to run on blue boost panels to gain and maintain a high speed. This introduces an interesting risk-reward system as you often need to make a number of difficult jumps to reach the boost panels, because you can’t “see” very far ahead so the panel locations might not be where you expect.

    Boson X looks neat, I may pick it up. The rotation mechanic is not unheard of, but it is neat and Boson X uses it differently from the next best comparison. For those interested, Run3 is also a fun game and can be played for free on your ad-ridden game site of choice.

  2. LionsPhil says:

    Oh, so it’s like Yoomp!, but with less style and technical “how did you pull this off on this hardware” wow-factor.

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      Phasma Felis says:

      Sorry, I’m afraid SuddenSight did the curmudgeon thing both first and better.

      (Yoomp looks kind of awesome, though. I think I want it on my phone.)

      But I really need to repeat my mantra that, if we placed awesome games on a pedestal and never let anyone make another game like it, gaming would be a poor and miserable place. More stuff that’s like awesome stuff is awesome.

  3. tumbleworld says:

    I seem to remember playing something a lot like this on the Commodore 64. Damn it, what was it called?

  4. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Learning to do a level in Boson X is rewarding, but sometimes the getting there can be quite frustrating. There are only six levels in.. well.. the demo, but that was quite enough for me.

  5. Tssha says:

    Such negative comments! I guess the rest of us are too busy colliding with SCIENCE to comment.

    And it is colliding I’m doing so much of, given how often I screw up.

    But yes, most enjoyable. The music, the platforms, the tricksy levels…I’ll definitely be getting the paid version.

  6. giorgi3092 says:

    I think this game very much looks like run 3… Here is the game!

  7. freerunning says:

    To my mind link to run3.net this games is much better