The Collider 2 – Review

Title   The Collider 2
Developer  Shortbreak Studios s.c.
Publisher  Shortbreak Studios s.c.
Platform  Windows PC, iOS, Android
Genre  Action/Casual/Racing
Release Date  April 19th, 2016
Official Site,the-collider,5.html

collider2rev1The Collider 2 is a game about being the millenium falcon, flying through the death star in Return of the Jedi. Sounds cool and it is, for the most part, but playing the early stages of the game is like having to sit through the prequel trilogy in order to get to that epic, fist-punching-the-air moment. This isn’t a bad thing depending on whether you loved the prequels or not, but seeing as we can safely assume you aren’t the 1% of the world that does, you’ll probably find that you want to get to the meat on The Collider 2′s bones long before it lets you at it.

Things start off slow; you’re introduced to how the ship works and what you need to do to get the maximum score on each level. The hand holding is strong here but I can’t fault a game for wanting to impress upon its audience how best to enjoy it – some games leave you wondering how their systems work hours after they’ve started. There isn’t much of a story to speak of, you just seem to be flying through ‘different’ sections of the same large mothership, in an effort to save the day. I say ‘different’ because you always enter at exactly the same point, which seems a little jarring in the grand scheme of things. That being said, flying down different ‘tubes’ doing very little apparent ‘damage’ to the mothership you’re inside is kind of strange – I feel like a fly that’s gone in one ear and out the other.


The main problem with The Collider 2 is its pace. The first three sectors each have ten missions and you’ll need to have achieved a certain amount of medals in order to progress to sector four for the next ten missions. This is how the game is laid out – ten missions per sector, win medals (three per mission maximum) in order to unlock more sectors. The problem is that the first three sectors are dull and slow. It was only towards the second half of the third sector that I failed a mission, and even then it was only once or twice. It just didn’t get fast, quick enough; my spaceship felt like a Ford Transit that was limited to sixty miles per hour. That’s fine if I’m on the M25 orbital but I’m not; I’m doing the space equivalent of the Le Mans. This problem is compounded when you consider that unless you get maximum medals each time (which isn’t likely) you’ll have to go back and replay some missions in order to unlock sector four. Don’t mistake my complaints about pace for any reflection on the difficulty – getting three medals each time isn’t easy – but it is still dull work if you’re on the go slow.

collider2rev3This shouldn’t be a reflection on the gameplay either. The moment by moment gameplay is a great deal of fun and part of this is down to the way that any death or failure is quickly forgotten as you’re thrust back into the challenge. It’s one of the reasons Super Meat Boy works so well, and although not as seamless, it is still very quick. Each level is composed of a mission objective and a possible three medal rating. The mission objectives come in a few varieties – a time run, destroy targets, collect alien artifacts – with each ten level chapter, ending in a fairly repetitive boss fight. Although the objectives sound bland, the game makes them fun, and the speed at which you end up travelling makes all of them challenging. The boss fights, which require you to destroy the boss against a time limit, are straightforward and simple trial and error, with a focus on the ‘simple’ element. Still, these are also on a timer, so you’ll need to keep the speed up in order to kill the boss before the timer runs out.

You get cash for completing levels and and a star rating based on time, coins collected and how well you completed the objective. The cash you are rewarded can be used to buy new ships or to upgrade existing ones. I would have preferred to see more options for upgrades, other than things like boosters and cooldown timers. The system isn’t so much redundant as it shallow – upgrading ships is largely inconsequential when you consider that the next ship you will unlock will likely have equal if not slightly better statistics. Sometimes the game forces you to get a better ship for a mission. This sounds irritating but actually it forced me to experiment with different ships whose shape and size can have an effect on how you’re moving around inside your increasingly tight tunnel.


Saying things get ‘tight’ is an understatement up there with saying things get ‘fast’, too. Once The Collider 2 takes the training wheels off things get very tasty, very quickly. Sector four starts to really bite back and beyond that things become a question how much you really want to progress. The difficulty is never insurmountable but your reflexes are going to be tested (I recommend having a good mouse, some caffeine and a relaxed attitude to losing). The speed at which you end up throttling through the tunnels gets crazy and the amount of things you end up ducking and dodging starts to get a little out of hand. Powerups will be your guide and you’ll soon be timing how long you can push the booster for before you implode, just to get those precious extra seconds out of the thrusters.

Going at such a pace, you’d be forgiven for not really checking out the graphics. The Collider 2 isn’t going to win best in show for anything on that score but it is going to look darn pretty regardless. The developers have got super inventive with the inside of the mothership and, given the game essentially takes place inside the same tunnel over and over and over, I never got bored with the aesthetics at all. Your variety of craft also look cool, and kudos to the developers for letting you choose different colours to make them look extra funky; it’s an option that could easily have been overlooked.

The same can’t be said for the sound, which repeats the same tense sci-fi music time and time again while flying. Luckily it isn’t terrible but it does get a little old. It doesn’t spoil the game in the slightest but I would have preferred some variety; at least the pew-pew of your lasers and the warning alarms and voice when you start to collide with things makes up for this. With The Collider 2 less is certainly more when it comes to the audio.

collider2rev5In terms of longevity, the base game is going to keep you busy for a while, not to mention the tournaments, leaderboards and survival mode, all of which will make the more determined player something of an addict. This is a game without a unique selling point, like its land-based brother Race The Sun, but makes up for that lack of uniqueness with the simple fact that it is amazingly fun. As previously stated, it isn’t going to win awards but so few games these days feel genuinely ‘fun’ without requiring you to spend hours grinding away for the very point the developers were trying to make when they started making the damn thing. The Collider 2 is unfiltered joy in a can and it makes no apologies for having a laugh with its limited scope.

  • Fun to play
  • Looks great
  • Neat presentation and gameplay
  • Takes a while to get going
  • Probably could have incorporated a better story and setting

There is very little left for me to say about The Collider 2. So many game sit on this knife edge, dangling between glory and irrelevance. One path leads to an induction into the hall of fame, the other leads to cast-offs and false idols. On this knife edge live millions of games, great enough to get a recommendation but lacking the punch to break into that promised land.

The Collider 2 deserves to sell well and deserves attention because it is just lots of fun to play, but it's unlikely to get it because it isn't a household name FPS or the fifteenth entry into a stale fantasy series. If you see it, buy it - it's not without its flaws but even the most tarnished gems are still gems in their own right.

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