Indie Review: Data Jammers: Fast Forward
PC Indie Game
Developer- Shrapnel Games
As the world around us is changing and steadily becoming more technologically advanced, more video games and movies are trying to visualize the computer world. Data Jammers: Fastforward is a fast paced PC title that has you blazing through data streams like something out of Tron. You play as a data jammer and your task is to destroy data cores and fight your way to the main core. Is this racing style game a winner or is it a waste of data?
Aside from it’s Tron inspired visuals, Fast Forward has a vibrant look to it. The main character is easy to pick out in any mayhem of a level, the enemies are a bright, brick red that makes them easy to hit (or avoid in some cases). The game has a great sense of speed and allows for players to feel like they really are blazing through a data stream. Explosions are quick and, while lackluster in their destruction, keep the pacing of the game very high. Overall, the look of the game is smooth but also simple, keeping the focus on the speed and the strategy.
Speed and quick reflexes are the strong suit of Fast Forward. While streaming across data, you are able to move freely from the foreground to the background of your viewing area. You can move between separate streams in order to pick up coins for points or to pick up powerups or health packs. As you’re traveling down these highways, innocent data will pass you by in green, car looking devices. When there were a lot on screen, I was reminded of the green designs of the Matrix coding. Continuing your travels you’ll start to be attacked by defensive streams, akin to breaking through security. These red cars and tank looking pieces of data will try to disable you, knock you off the data stream and fire projectiles at you. When these get hectic is when the game really shines as it takes some quick thinking and fast reflexes to get rid of your pursuers and attackers without losing a life.
At the end of each section, you will encounter a boss that you need to take out in order to pass on to the next section of code. While these boss encounters are scarce, they’re blood pumping as you scramble to figure out how you need to defeat any particular boss. Typically you’re given bombs to use against them, but the biggest challenge is staying alive to gather more, as you’ll be maneuvering the data stream as quickly as you possibly can.
While there’s not a great deal of music to the title, the sounds keep you invested in the game regardless. The sounds of data passing by, the destruction of an enemy from an explosion or a collision and the sounds of collecting coins almost sound like a song in and of itself while you play. The main menu song is upbeat and gets you ready for the journey ahead as you select your level and head out to the data stream.
Fast Forward offers a quick and fast paced experience, but it ends before it seems to begin, having a limited number of levels and few boss encounters. You can go back and play any level you’ve unlocked and this adds a level of replayability to the title, but once you’ve played through the whole experience, there isn’t much incentive to go back and play it again. Many levels seems very similar, with a few standout stages showing the real challenge and require the greatest of strategy to accomplish them, but overall, you won’t find yourself really coming back to this on a daily basis. You might, however, come back to it for a single level every now and then.
- Fast paced game
- great challenge
- engaging sounds
- Too short
- Lacking music
- Not much replayability
Fast Forward seems like more of a great test to an idea (Kind of like Portal was an experiment rather than a full fledged game) and while it has some great elements, it could certainly use some more content in order to be a title that’s worthy of being called a full game.