hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Review: Waveform

5:00 PM on 03.20.2012 // Jordan Devore

I don't get to play enough games like Waveform.

For starters, it's an independent title that doesn't use 8- or 16-bit graphics and isn't painfully derivative which, unfortunately, describes much of the stuff I'm willing to shove in front of my eyeballs. Waveform knows what it wants to be and doesn't stray too far off course.

It's also not unlike something you'd expect from Bit.Trip series developer Gaijin Games. If that doesn't get your ears to perk up, I don't know what will.

Waveform (PC)
Developer: Eden Industries
Publisher: Eden Industries
Release: March 20, 2012
MSRP: $6.99

Although Waveform will likely click with you in a matter of seconds, it manages to remain mostly interesting throughout its 100+ levels. Using nothing more than a mouse, you'll tinker with a wave's amplitude and wavelength to avoid obstacles and pick up light orbs.

It's an uncomplicated premise, and the game is better off for it. While grasping the controls on a conceptual level isn't difficult at all, getting used to the system's intricacies is another matter entirely. Successfully coming into contact with these orbs and avoiding asteroids, aliens, mines, and more increasingly requires the player to have a mastery of subtle movements that often need to be made hastily.

Knowing what you need to do is only half of the battle; you've then got to apply that knowledge to specific situations on the fly (and curse at your monitor for being slightly off target).

The first stage begins with just the basics described above. As you progress to later stages, you'll come across new mechanics that are nicely spread across the entirety of Waveform, constantly building upon one another and the game's minimalistic foundation.

Prisms, for instance, can be used to change the color of orbs. This ends up being significant, since rings that account for your score multiplier are specific to one of three colors. Other elements that get introduced later on include mirrors your wave can bounce off of, clouds of gas that either speed you up or slow you down, and -- what else? -- portals.

As stated above, there are quite a few levels, a number of which could have been consolidated. You can also play through remixed versions of them after completing the main game, but this will likely be overkill for most players outside of leaderboard junkies -- as will the endless, randomly generated Deep Space missions. That said, Waveform was largely able to keep my attention until the end.

The music is an all-around great fit for the space theme, ranging from more relaxing ambient tracks to downright catchy tunes. Similarly, the art -- particularly when seen in motion -- was a step above what I was expecting from such a small number of people working on the game.

I particularly like that Waveform speeds up (i.e., gets more difficult) the better you're playing. Reaching the end of any given level usually doesn't take a whole lot of effort, but achieving a perfect rating, on the other hand, can be an exercise in frustration; there's always an orb or two that narrowly escapes.

Thankfully, perfection is not a requirement to unlock additional levels. Generally speaking, an okay-to-good performance most of the time will be sufficient. And, for those who think achievements are useless, they -- along with your individual level scores -- smartly help you gain access to gated-off courses.

With a game like Waveform, I have to wonder if it would have been better served with more gameplay hooks, or, alternatively, less content overall. I'm inclined to lean toward the latter suggestion as someone who significantly values quality over quantity.

Wave manipulation is a neat concept -- one I don't recall encountering in this form before -- but despite admirable attempts to introduce slight tweaks to the formula, it is eventually stretched to its limit. Even still, Waveform is a solid, highly polished game that's very much its own thing, and very much worth checking out.



Waveform - Reviewed by Jordan Devore
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidJordan Tips
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Crypt of the NecroDancer and Valkyria Chronicles are on sale through Steam, BUY THEM, GO GO GO!
Manchild avatarManchild
Missing you guys. Super busy. Mario Maker is the shit.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The new Bloggers Wanted prompt will post on Monday!
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
For Occams: [img][/img]
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
I routinely listen to the Dustforce soundtrack every week. Incredible sounds. [youtube][/youtube]
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Steam rejected the DP refund. Meh, It's been a long time between when I bought and played it, don't care anymore, heh. Decided to play more MGS4 on PS3 and start replaying Rayman Origins on PC. Fun games that actually work.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Being an asshole, watching this Star Citizen debacle unfold and seeing Cloud Imperium's meltdown about the whole ordeal is incredibly entertaining. Even if the allegations ARE false, CI's official statement comes off as wonderfully bitter and petty.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Alright. Playing off of the Avatar question, why did you choose your username?
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I tried playing Deadly Premonition on Steam from my backlog today and it's a GODAWFUL pc port. I bought it forever ago but I requested a refund. If anything I don't want it in my library....
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
If you ever dipped a cookie in your coffee, I promise you're doing it right.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Why did you pick your avatar? What about you does it represent?
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Wanna eat some meat ? [youtube][/youtube]
KyWii avatarKyWii
Why is it that Sundays always feel so lazy? I always tell myself I'm going to get things done and then...well....
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
So, I plan on using my GameStop Power-Up Rewards points (yes) to buy all the eventual P4DAN DLC. Even though the practices are very suspect. I am so not made of stone. Moreso blubber and Dr. Pepper.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Having a puppy and trying to play legend of grimrock 2 somewhere the puppy normally doesn't get to hang out is a futile effort.
gajknight avatargajknight
Shafts of light emanated from Robo Panda Z's eyes, illuminating the intricately engraved obelisks looming impossibly above him. A whispered voice spoke from the obelisk. Do you pay too much for your Internet? Comcast. Like you have a choice.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I miss Kill la Kill - I think mostly because it was so damn entertaining to have a bunch of people drawling, "Nuuuuuuuuudiiiiiiiist Beeeeeeeeeeeaaaach" at each other.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I took a homeopathic shower this morning. I used extra water.
Shinta avatarShinta
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -