Skip to content

Macrocosm Review: Beautiful, but with poor gameplay

A leisurely and slightly hypnotic gaming experience as you float through space as a little blob of dark matter

In Macrocosm, your goal as you meander through the infinite abyss of space is to collect clumps of dark matter and avoid obstacles.

Sounds like a nice change of pace from the sea of frantic arcade games available, but unfortunately Macrocosm forgets even the most basic elements of a modern game.

Swing between the 2 axis to plot your path

Swing between the 2 axis to plot your path

Spitting you out into deep space, the first level is promising. As you collect matter, you become larger and stronger, able to take a greater amount of punishment from close encounters with alien ships and gravitational fields that pull you into a collision course with the nearest planet.

The game itself is quite beautiful, each level full of tiny floating fragments of matter and gas giants. The control system for the game is also quite good, each touch of the screen becoming a pivot upon which your blob of matter rotates around. Unfortunately everything else about the game just feels plain unfinished.

Parts of Macrocosm are truly beautiful

Parts of Macrocosm are truly beautiful

During gameplay you are sometimes presented with a pop up box with a casual comment like ‘GIMME MORE!’ giving you a vague hint of an objective. These aren’t nearly detailed enough to tell you what’s going on. There is also no background story to the game, and no ultimate goal or instructions of any kind.

Floating aimlessly

This means that you can sometimes get stuck in one area of a level, floating around aimlessly. When this happens there isn’t a lot you can do, a major flaw being that there is no menu. You can’t pause the game or return to the level select screen. You actually have to close the app and open it again to start a different level. Hardly immersive.

Gonna... tell me where to go?

Gonna… tell me where to go?

When you reach the corner of a level the edge line of the textures is visible, ruining any kind of sense that your are floating gracefully through infinite three dimensional space. Some of the animation could also be better – when you crash or are killed by a spaceship or sentry you don’t shatter into a million fragments as you would expect from a game set in space, instead a weird lightning bolt animation signifies your doom.

Tasty matter

During the later levels (if you survive that long) you will encounter spaceships that are also after the same tasty matter as you are. There are also force fields that you need to negotiate, timing your movements to perfection.

Take account for gravitational pull

Take account for gravitational pull

The cannibalistic concept behind the game has been seen before in the likes of Osmos and although the visuals of the game aren’t a million miles away from other chart toppers, the poor gameplay means that Macrocosm is never likely to share in the same success.

The whole game feels unfinished, and there is a real chance that most will not make it past the first level. Even the level select screen itself looks like it has been rushed to make the final cut, with tiny, almost indistinguishable icons.

Price: $0.99/£0.69
Size: 32.1 MB
Version: 1.0
Platform: iOS Universal
Developer: Klaas Kaat

App Store Download button