As much as I might wish, I do not improve at Fotonica. I’ve tried the first-person auto-runner many times in its various incarnations over the years, and never found the beautiful flow and elegance that I’ve seen in other people as I watch over their shoulder. It is tricky and it is pretty and it is now on Steam as what developers Santa Ragione call “the most complete release of Fotonica to date.” It’s got split-screen multiplayer now, for one thing.
Fotonica, if you’ve missed it, is a one-button auto-runner. Hold anything and you’ll run, release it and you’ll jump, then tap it in mid-air to dash downwards. It’s simple but tricky to master as you try to rack up high scores dashing through cities, forests, buildings, spiralling geometric databursts, and other aspects of cyberspace. It is so very pretty. The Steam release also has a new mega-hard difficulty setting.
My problem is that my physical awareness feels slightly off as I play; I always think I’m two steps further from the edge than I actually am then plummet down. Levels tend to have multiple routes so this isn’t necessarily failure, but it’s not conducive to elegance. But watching other people, oh, they’re majestic! A recent event I helped organise showed the four-player multiplayer, and I delighted in seeing a group of skilled runners racing.
Fotonica’s on Steam now at £5.49, including a 25% discount that’ll run until Thursday. Santa Ragione are trying to get Steam keys to folks who bought earlier versions from them. You can play an old demo in your browser, and here are some moving pictures: