Review: Plox Neon (PS4)

Review: Plox Neon (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PC, Mac
  • iOS, Android

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Plox Neon
Format: PSN (160.3 MB)
Release Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Desert Owl Games
Developer: Desert Owl Games
Original MSRP: $7.99 (US), €7.99 (EU), £6.49 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

I never played Qix or Xionx, the titles that inspired this classic arcade style game. I’ve only played Jezzball on Windows 95. It helped pass the time during breaks and I was quite good at the little game.

So what is Plox Neon all about as it has no explanation or tutorial in the game. Now that I think about it Jezzball didn’t really explain itself either but I soon understood that I had to build vertical or horizontal walls. If I managed to avoid the bouncing atoms and the walls reached the edge of the area, then the area not containing a ball was ‘captured’ and filled black. When I reached a certain percentage of captured area, I completed the level.

Gameplay:
It would seem Plox Neon is similar to the classic Windows 95 title but with a few small differences. The cursor is continually building walls and can always be harmed by the ‘monsters,’ which you must try to destroy to earn extra points.

So, you still have to clear a certain percentage of the play area but if you can manage to trap one or more enemies in a small enough area, you claim that space and earn bonus points for vanquishing the trapped monsters.

Now, the requirements have never been explained with regard to what’s needed for the enemy to be separated in another area or trapped and destroyed so experimentation is needed. Some levels make the limits quite obvious for one lone enemy as any successful wall encroachment signals their demise.

There are sixty levels, each with a different layout and various types and amounts of the enemy. However, once I had played a few levels the formula, as vague and dull as it may be, became quite apparent. It was just like the game I played when I was young, but now the enemies are killed if confined in a small enough area.

The walls don’t have to be straight and it’s often easier if they are all over the place, bending this way and that. I have, on a few occasions been able to trap a monster in a quickly placed arc-shaped wall. I even got a Trophy for it.

At least I think it was for that, I had several pop over the course of one quick level. Afterward, I checked to see what I had remaining and there were only three virtual trinkets left. I had acquired the other nine in the space of five minutes of play.

I soon grew weary of the repetitive gameplay until a new type of enemy showed up that chased the avatar cursor when it got too close. These need some forward thinking and a small amount of planning to trap.

Visuals:
Plox Neon has a “colorful mix of organic and retro arcade visuals,” according to the developers, Desert Owl Games. I would have to agree with their succinct description. There is an 80’s simplicity to the design with an injection of flair and fancy effects. And, I’m sorry to write, it’s the best part of the game.

Audio:
The game features some great electronic music, some of which you might recognize. The sound effects are good too, especially when you wipe out a group of enemies.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
I’m not sure why, but Plox Neon is not much fun. It might be because I became obsessively skilled at Jezzball where I could trap atoms in the smallest possible space and I would often reach the very difficult levels, although I never got to see the absurdity of level fifty and beyond.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a bad game and when I reached the seekers, or whatever they’re called, I had some fun luring them into narrow corridors and wiping them from existence. Sadly, the enjoyment didn’t last long and the experience became mediocre at best.

Plus, it still feels like a mobile phone game, especially when you read the PlayStation Store description that reads “No ads, no in-app purchases, just the full game.” It isn’t cheap either and seeing as it features nothing new or improved, I would wait until it drops in price by a large margin.

Score:
5.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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