The game challenges your skills at timing and speed to collect a series of crystals, all the while avoiding dangerous robots and deadly red crystals. Graphics are drawn up in 3D style with plenty of detail and color, and the game controls are touch-based for your movement and orientation. Arcadian plays out a little like the classic Pac-Man video game but with pesky robots instead of ghosts. Available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile, Arcadian is a good-looking game, but it may not have enough meat on the bone for some.
The primary menu for Arcadian greets you with a modest supply of options that include accessing the game's settings and developer credits, and the ability to start gameplay. Settings cover the basic sound and music adjustments but also graphics quality.
Gameplay is spread across nine levels, each progressively unlocked and replayable. There is not a help section or opening tutorial that covers the rules of play, and while Arcadian is not a difficult game to sort out, it may take a few attempts before you can make heads from tails. The Windows Store description offers a little insight on gameplay, but it would be nice to see this information available within the game itself.
Gameplay begins with your character, a white robot, positioned in a room filled with platforms, nooks and crannies. Your job is to collect all the colored crystals that are scattered about the room. Movement is controlled by a virtual joystick that is positioned in the lower left corner of the display. You can change the robot's orientation and view with a joystick that is in the lower-right corner of the display.
Across the top of the game screen, you'll find the game timer, the number of crystals to be collected, a settings button, your health meter and a profile button that toggles the view from 3D to an overhead view.
As you search the room for crystals, there is a collection of dangerous robots that randomly patrol the area. Should your robot come into contact with any of these enemy robots, the game is over. Along with the dangers these patrolling robots present, there are also several red crystals that should be avoided. Collecting the red crystals damages your robot and reduces its health meter. If you fully deplete your health the game is over.
Along with the dangerous robots and crystals in these rooms, there is also a glowing tube that can be collected that replenishes the game's timer. This comes in handy to keep the game going because the timer striking zero is another way for the game to end.
Arcadian's gaming experience is a mixed bag. I liked the graphics quality, and the controls were responsive. The orientation controls and overhead view allow you to find all the crystals when they may be hidden behind a column. The downsides to Arcadian are the lack of a tutorial or help section and the lack of depth in gameplay.
What is in place has potential and is well presented, but gameplay needs more chutzpah. For example, the dangerous robots could detect your robot's presence and begin a chase. Then your robot could have a blaster that could be used to turn the dangerous robots into dust or land mines that could be dropped to destroy the enemy. While I like Arcadian, I just can't help but feel it's missing something, much like a well-cooked steak that isn't seasoned enough. It may taste good, but you know that it needs something more to make it right.
Arcadian is a decent game, but hopefully the developer builds on what is in place. The graphic quality gives this game a bit of eye appeal, and controls are not overly complicated. Arcadian currently costs $1.99 with a free trial and is available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile. Overall, the game has a good foundation but needs a little more depth to help it from growing stale too quickly.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.