Verfasst: 2. August
At its core, 1000 Amps is somewhat similar to VVVVVV - you've got a whole bunch of interconnected rooms to explore, and will spend most of your time figuring out how to get to them all. That said, there are a couple of things going on here to help separate this one from its "metroidvania" peers:
- Right off the bat, there's the graphical style, which is built almost entirely on sharp, grayscale squares; it might come off as dull at a glance, but for a world built with such limited materials it actually looks pretty nice. The simple black, white, and shades in between are pleasant and clean, not to mention spiced up by the lighting, which I'll get further into in a moment.
- While most platformers of this ilk immediately reveal the full layout of each room you enter, in 1000 amps the power has been cut across the entire map, so you have to feel your way around in total darkness and touch various blocks as you go to render them visible. The most important of these are "light-up" blocks, since if you find all of them in a single room the power will be permanently switched back on and that room will be "solved"; moreover, each one you find charges your battery, which enables higher jumps and the use of special abilities, so you'll often need to plan your route to complete the circuit. At this point I'll also note that there's no music to speak of until you solve a room, which prompts some manner of synthesized bell tune to pipe in; I can't say I was humming along to most of the music, but the overall effect suited me fine.
- If you're looking for combat you'd best look elsewhere, since there really aren't any "enemies" wandering around in the traditional sense; actually, there aren't any dangerous obstacles here either, or any way to "die" at all. About the worst that can happen to you is that you unintentionally pass through a non-solid floor or wall into a different room and lose your progress in the one you were working on; this can be frustrating, as there's no way to tell what's where when you first enter a new area (at least until you get the Sonar, one of a few upgrades you'll need to progress past certain points), but it usually doesn't take too terribly long to get back where you were, especially if you've already solved some of the surrounding rooms and can pass through them quickly.
So there you have the game's most distinguishing features; now, how do they all fit together? For the most part, pretty well: control-wise all you need are the WASD/arrow keys to move and jump around, plus the mouse cursor to guide the crucial "teleport" ability, unlocked early on. There are a handful of technical "tricks" to discover as you get more comfortable, which are essential to giving yourself that little extra boost you need to sneak over a wall or graze past a remote light-up block; the game doesn't present too many overt hints to this end, but I'd wager that players familiar with platformers in general should be able to figure them out without too much trouble. On the whole, that's pretty much all there is to know about 1000 Amps, which is fine: you explore, you experiment, you light stuff up and fill in the map a bit at a time.
Puzzle-platformer fans should enjoy themselves on the whole, but there are a handful of caveats. First and foremost, the creator's total devotion to the black-and-white art style can sometimes hamstring it: in certain situations you have to look closely to spot a less-than-obvious doorway or other element, and you'll be squinting particularly frequently at the (also grayscale) in-game map as you attempt to visually determine whether or not you missed a particular tiny passageway from way back when...and there's no way to mark or annotate it either. I can understand and appreciate sticking to one's guns artistically, but in this case I'd call it more of a hindrance than it's worth - I managed to get the completion percentage to 99% before finally giving up on figuring out which slightly-darker-than-the-rest speck on the map I'd overlooked.
Also be aware that there's no genuine transporter hub or other means of "fast travel" here: granted, the map isn't super-huge and can be traversed fairly quickly once you're breezing through solved rooms, but there are more than a few lengthy routes which can only be completed in one direction, so if you need to retrace your steps you've got no choice but to slog your way to the starting point (which can, again, be tougher to determine than it needs to be thanks to the map's deficiencies) and begin from square one. This is compounded by a couple of rooms that are particularly easy to fall out of by accident until you've turned all the lights on, and a few others which require some fairly precise tapping and clicking to clear; most of the time things feel fair and forgiving without being condescending, but there is some grumbling to be had here and there.
Hopefully at this point you've got a decent idea of what 1000 Amps has to offer, and what it doesn't: it's only a couple of bucks to acquire, should only take you a few hours total to finish your first time through (though I'd imagine it's ripe for speed-running once you know where you're going), and for the most part delivers on its simple, pleasant concept of a visually-sound, non-violent exploratory puzzle-platformer. If that summary appeals to you, by all means save this one a place in your Library.