Fermi’s Path is an action packed rhythm based game about a tiny particle travelling across a subatomic space to electro beats. You’re introduced to this spacious vibrant world travelling at a steady pace along a seemingly steady wire populated with collectables, objects and enemies. As Fermi your objective is quite simple, listen and enjoy the soundtrack and match your movements to the beat to create a seamless stream of music while navigating along the wire, collecting points, power ups and tokens to increase your score.
There are two different game modes to play through – Path mode is a basic form of the game where you navigate from start to finish collecting points and moving to the beat, once you have completed a level you unlock Infinite mode for that particular level, which will allow you to play along that single path to generate a high score, ending if you quit or lose all your energy.
There are a lot of collectables around the track to help you reach the end safely, it is up to you to insure you pick them up and use them to your advantage as they are not always in plain sight, and as levels progress, they get increasingly harder to obtain. New upgrades to your fire power are found along the wire that you can use to destroy enemies firing at you, however although Fermi does have the ability to shoot, not everything is destroyable in this world.
Fermi handles like a dream, the controls are responsive and it is very easy to navigate around the wire – your movement is on a single rail and your trajectory can be changed to any one of the four sides of the wire. A single tap left or right will take you to each side and a double tap will flip you to the bottom, a very easy premise when you first try it but it can be hard to master in the later levels. You can also remap the buttons but unfortunately you can not have two to do the same action.
Playing as this little particle can get hard pretty quickly but there is steady learning curve which prepares you for later levels, each one is more difficult than the last and at time you may have to set it to easy mode to initially finish the course to be able to go back and beat it on a harder difficulty for that high score, sometimes learning the level layout is the secret to your success.
There are three difficulty modes each giving you a different amount of starting lives and a different score multiplier, hard mode sees you only starting off with three lives, while medium sets you off with five, and easy mode giving you seven. Taking damage won’t reset a level but it will knock off one bit of energy (life) every time you fail to avoid an object or take damage from an enemy, so it is imperative that your reactions are sharp. It is entirely possible to pick up more energy (lives) during levels and Fermi can hold up to nine at any one time.
Each level has its own high score that you will be able to beat to unlock an achievement, the scoring system is based on the difficulty of the mode you have set it on. The amount of points you collect throughout the level increases if you collect the three different tokens, find any secret areas, do not take any damage and (of course) kill enemies. You will have a score streak meter in the corner when you are picking up the points (which look like golden rings), the higher your streak the more it multiplies but taking damage will ruin this.
Being a rhythm based game, the soundtrack is catchy and enjoyable, each level has its own unique sound to enjoy. Starting off the game you are welcomed with a mid-paced electro beat to get used to the way the game plays and as levels move on, the soundtrack does too, getting progressively faster with more upbeat sounds. Fermi’s Path is a visually stunning game, the backgrounds are colorful and vibrant while being populated with abstract materials, while in this sub atomic space you will see all kinds of things. To me it looks like the inside of a body and you’re travelling along the blood stream playing as a white blood cell (neutrophil) while trying to fight your way to where you need to be avoiding danger!
While playing through Fermi’s Path in the early stages it is very enjoyable and easy, to best the harder stages will require some dedication (and skill) to get through, either reducing the difficulty or learning the best paths to take to conquer it. If you’re too tired or lack fast reactions, then this might be a frustrating experience and could turn you away from Fermi’s charms.
Packed with a great atmosphere and an enjoyable soundtrack, Fermi’s Path is a fun addition the rhythm based game genre.
Thanks to Xbox and GameArt Studio GmbH for their support
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