forma.8 review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U
Publisher: MixedBag
Developer: MixedBag
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

You shouldn’t go into forma.8 expecting all that much. There’s no story to speak of, and the main character is a little black ball that can occasionally pulse with a tiny bit of colour when it’s trying to repel enemies. Those enemies aren’t very distinctive either, and the environments can feel a little same-y after awhile, and you’ll have to see a lot of both because forma.8 is a Metroidvania, which means it has its fair share of backtracking.

You might think, based on the above paragraph, that I dislike the game. That actually couldn’t be further from the truth. I mean, I wasn’t crazy about it, seeing as it’s been sitting in my backlog of games to review for much longer than it should’ve been, and every time I starting playing it, I’d forget pretty much everything about it within a few moments of putting it down. But, on the whole, I was fond of it, albeit in the vaguest sense of the word possible.

I think, though, that my general/unspecified fondness for forma.8 stems from the fact that, somehow, developers MixedBag found a way of making that bland little ball feel like a character worth rooting for. Making it was the way it floated through some of the pleasant-looking vistas when it wasn’t trapped inside a cave. Maybe it was the fact you’re controlling a little tiny ball, and you have to help it navigate through pathways with more than a few enemies that want to make it blip out of existence. Whatever the trick is, it works.

It also helps that forma.8 balances out the “not much to it” feeling by also not demanding much of players. Controls are pretty simple: the ball floats through the air, and when you encounter enemies, you can (as mentioned above), send a little pulse their way, making them explode. There are puzzles, too, and they run on the same principle of not being too challenging/not making you work too hard for anything.

Obviously, if forma.8 were anything near a full-priced game, it probably wouldn’t be worth picking up. But seeing as it’s free with PlayStation Plus this month (and fairly reasonably priced on a number of other platforms), it’s hard tp say no to a game that’s as pleasantly unobtrusive as this.

MixedBag provided us with a forma.8 PlayStation Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B