Ever wondered what running at 140mph feels like? FOTONICA is a first-person game about the thrill of speed and traveling flawlessly through complex environments. FOTONICA is simple, but is not easy: it follows a tradition of arcade games that are easy to pick up and almost impossible to master.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (10 reviews) - 100% of the 10 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (486 reviews) - 88% of the 486 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 6, 2014

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Reviews

“It’s a remarkable game, and unlike anything else I’ve played. - John Walker”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun!

“Usain Bolt trapped in a feverish Tron daydream. - Kristan Reed”
8/10 – EuroGamer

“Striking and instantly impressive. - Ben Kuchera”
ArsTechnica

About This Game

Ever wondered what running at 140mph feels like? FOTONICA is a first-person game about the thrill of speed and traveling flawlessly through complex environments.

FOTONICA is simple, but is not easy: it follows a tradition of arcade games that are easy to pick up and almost impossible to master. A multi-layered level design across eight different tracks, together with a procedural endless mode make for a game that is incredibly deep. Think you can outrun your friends? Try the split-screen versus challenges.

The visuals are a treat for the nostalgic player but also for those hungry for new aesthetics. Every pixel is drawn to convey the maximum sense of speed, an exhilarating journey through light and void.

Key features

  • 8 Levels to explore and master.
  • Plus 3 different endless levels to compete for high-scores.
  • Four-player split-screen local multiplayer mode!
  • 20 Achievements to unlock plus game stats.
  • Online rankings.
  • Beautiful, smooth, and unique vector-style graphics.
  • Electronic music by Michael Manning, Nicolò Sala, and legendary composer Baiyon.
  • 4 Difficulty settings to let you play an even faster version of FOTONICA.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3 +
    • Processor: 2.0GHz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB graphics card
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Graphics: Pixel Shader 3.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6.8
    • Processor: 2.0GHz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB graphics card
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Pixel Shader 3.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12
    • Processor: 2.0GHz CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB graphics card
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Graphics: Pixel Shader 3.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (10 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (486 reviews)
Recently Posted
Ni†oXo†iИ
( 20.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 17
Fail enough in this game and you will feel like a learning AI.
Abstract, minimalistic and poor of emotions.
Simple to use but hard to learn.
This game is great for playing between and with fast music.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
LonM
( 19.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 10
A good runner/parkour game that offers a nice mix of endless runner options and static levels that you can memorize and perfect.
The graphics are nice and while they at first appear quite polygonal and minimalist, turn out to be very detailed.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rain Machine
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 4
super slicc
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kaburasha
( 8.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Their breaths are fantastic.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Quantoza
( 19.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 30
an interesting game its like being high
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rangerdanger0
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
It is honestly a really intesteting to play.
I found it super fun to play and even a little challenging at times.
I would highly suggest you buy this game :D
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Muffin
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 21
FOTONICA is a minimalistic runner game. It’s so minimalistic and simple, that controls consist of a SINGLE button. Holding down a button (you can use almost any button in-game to run) makes you run, releasing the button performs a jump and holding down the button mid air accelerates landing.

The game’s description asks: “Ever wondered what running at 140mph feels like?” But honestly, it doesn’t feel like 140 mph at all. I was expecting the game to be more like “Space tube” (a game available on Windows mobile and Android devices), where you can definitely feel the speed – on some levels you can even react in time after a boost. So when the description starts out with a question like that, you expect the game to be adrenaline inducing. Can’t say I felt a rush on any of the levels.

Although the animation is beautiful, the only mode that looks good on full screen is FLAT (you have a selection of three “QUALITY” options available for you). VECTOR and FLUID look poorly – especially on full screen.

3 modes are available to the player: arcade, endless and versus. Arcade mode consists of just 8 finite levels. The levels are very short – 1-2 minutes each. Endless mode has just 3 levels. Versus mode (where you can play split screen with up to 4 players) is a nice addition, but it’s not enough to compensate the lack of levels in other modes.

All in all, FOTONICA didn’t live up to my expectations. While the game indeed is a bit addicting, it still severely lacks content. It’s a decent game for mobile devices to pass time while waiting in line or riding a bus/train. However, I cannot recommend buying it on Steam for full price.


This review is part of the Steamified Community Review program. For similar reviews and fantastic giveaways please visit http://www.steamified.com/
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mushclone298
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 11
Completed all of the arcade levels (on one difficulty), not much change within the difficulties, just seems your character speeds up a lot faster the higher you go. The graphics are fairly minimalist, but are nice to look at and they don’t really distract you from trying to not die and/or smash your face into a platform, of which I did both many times. I will say that the head bob and shakes when landing are annoying in that they do distract you and made me fail quite a number of times. As far as gameplay goes it is enjoyable, controls are simple, and you’re mostly just running and jumping, trying to go as fast as possible and collect little orbs at the same time. I can tell this game is meant to be played until you’re a pro, but I just don’t really feel like doing that, just doesn’t hold my attention enough, but it might hold someone else’s. So I’m going to say that you should give this one a shot, but wait for a bundle or a sale to get it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KnightX
( 30.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 8
It's really fast when you get really good :3
141 daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn @_@
would recommend to buy it on sale, cuz everyone has different opinions
I was surprised to hear that it has a mobile version too, will check it out :D
7/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
gomp
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 1
Wonderful and satisfying game,
Good art,
Simple controls,
Unique multiplayer,
♥♥♥♥'s good.
10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 17
Fail enough in this game and you will feel like a learning AI.
Abstract, minimalistic and poor of emotions.
Simple to use but hard to learn.
This game is great for playing between and with fast music.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
Their breaths are fantastic.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
an interesting game its like being high
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
51 of 56 people (91%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 28, 2015
FOTONICA is an adrenaline rush, at the very least. A high speed running game with one button as the sum total of a player’s control. Don’t think of that as a limitation. Quite the opposite. Since this is first and foremost a sensory experience type of game, deriving much from little, it would be unfortunate if even the smallest part of a player’s attention were taken from the screen.

The player, as “runner”, travels very minimalistic landscapes. Some are vaguely identifiable, such as rooms in a sort of building. (The more identifiable the terrain, the faster landscapes seem to go by as the eye/brain connection struggles for context.) The runner also jumps, but I hesitate to call this a platformer. It does have platformer characteristics, such as the pink dots one attempts to acquire by contact. And the varying size and levels of platforms. Some game levels, in fact, are almost entirely platforms. These are generally the more difficult; as players struggle to attain the secondary goal, SPEED.

The primary goal of FOTONICA is scoring points. Every run scores points, even those ending in failure (carefully recorded on the Statistics screen.) Points are composed of distance traveled, dots attained and how much of the distance was in “gold” mode, above 60 mps. (There may be exceptions beyond the lower levels I’ve seen so far.) There are numerous levels, each beyond the first being unlocked through performance (so I hesitate to give too many details.) As well, there are 4 skill levels. Though they have Italian names, I presume them to be Agile, Energetic, Furious and Impetuous. Perhaps someone can clarify. Each game level at each skill level has its own leaderboard. A player can seek their own ranking, overall, or compare with any friends that have played. In addition to Arcade mode, composed of various tracks or terrains to run, there is Endless (presumably as described, though hitting 10,000 points (oddly enough) does indicate “completion”, but not the end. Each Arcade level also has a point of completion in which the player joyously jumps into a world of horizontal lines, not tracks or platforms.) FOTONICA also includes a third mode, multiplayer, which I am unable to comment on at this time.

Each skill level is essentially an increase in speed, requiring different paths and strategies, often seeming almost as if a completely new level of the game involving new terrains. That’s the real excitement of FOTONICA, finding the BEST (perhaps only) path to the end, by exploring all the possibilities at the various speeds. Hints are offered. Sometimes the placement of a pink dot can offer a clue, as can the position of flag-like markers to indicate a jumping point. But be careful, sometimes a dot seems, at least at certain speeds, to sucker you into a dead end move.Very often the appropriate path or action is counterintuitive, such as jumping before maximum speed, in order to land more strategically. Or kicking off instead of running, for a similar purpose. Strange as it may sound, all movement is, as mentioned earlier, controlled by one button, ANY button. But that button does even more. It also controls landing from each leap, presumably to provide a smoother, less momentum disrupting transition. When at some point a leap goes too far, “the button” will also act to land the runner sooner (though at a cost to speed) to avoid leaping into space, the most common conclusion to a run. (After two days I have nearly 1,000 such “space leaps”.)

In real life I can’t run without a price, and have been severely limited in doing so for about 40 years. Perhaps that increases my enjoyment of this game. For others with limitations this game is nearly perfect with its simplicity of control and color. It also offers a feature by which a player can offset the timing of their input, in either direction, by 2 degrees each. This feature certainly deserves examination by any player, impaired or not.

The achievements are interesting and esoteric. One, in fact, is a total mystery, and the developers AREN’T talking. Ultimately what’s not to love in a game that gives an achievement for a huge number of face plants at high speed? (Which, incidentally, frequently leads to new discoveries.)

A great game to be played with or without external controls, for a minute or for hours. Portrait mode is suggested, though you’ll need familiarity with the menus first, as it seems to have been an afterthought. Perhaps not the greatest of its type, but a darn good one that I certainly suggest, especially if it’s still so cheap. Hope to see you there.
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46 of 52 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
Fotonica is endless runner perfection in a most blissful series of beautifully crafted lightspeed stages, the warm vector lines and hallucinatory neon waves that illuminate from the sides of your vision like some kind of adrenaline induced euphoria. When you finally reach that zen-like state of focus things begin to speed up even more, the colors and movements are intensified for a wonderful audiovisual overload that sets it apart from the rest.

The music comes from a plethora of incredible artists (including the very talented Baiyon of Pixeljunk Eden fame) and ranges from shimmering, gorgeous soundscapes to heavy pulsing electric rhythms with infectious bass and they compliment the array of different environments and backdrops you'll encounter between each visually shifting level perfectly. The minimalistic yet abstractly complex interconnected series of lines in the classic vector style needs to be seen in motion and lends itself to the very reminiscent feel from the Death Star trench run section of Atari's Star Wars that most endless runners give.

Fotonica moves away from the single boring stretch of hallway players may be used to from other games in the endless runner genre, instead giving us varying heights of platforms. The player character runs at increasingly faster speeds with the holding of a single button, and releasing causes you to bound into the air and leap over gaps in the broken pathways before you. Aiming and timing your landings is the key to success, and overshooting your jump by even the slightest is enough to ruin a good run. The longer you keep your momentum up the faster you go, and the more complex these breaks and gaps in the trail become as they stretch out to seemingly infinite lengths.

The game features two main singleplayer modes including Arcade and Endless as well as a split screen Versus mode that makes for some great living room multiplayer. Arcade mode features eight stages of increasing difficulty as shorter, more rapid platforms are thrown at you forcing you to think on your feet. As you fly and leap past these deadly gaps you collect various score increasing orbs tucked in hard to land spots, spicing up how score chasers will approach the leaderboards. Endless mode is just as it sounds, giving players who have already mastered the several Arcade mode stages and want to put their endurance to the ultimate test.

You'll run again and again, jumping from cascading catwalks to other layers of psychedelically colored platforms only to watch your arms flail in terror as you plummet to your death. When you get back up again and check your score against your friends, you'll run again with reinvigorated motivation and eventually find that ultimate "Runner's High". From the incredibly creative minds behind MirrorMoonEP, Fotonica further proves that Santa Ragione has the potential to craft unique and memorable experiences in a multitude of genres and stands as what is most likely my "Runner of the Year" due to attractive, straightforward and addictive design.
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42 of 52 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
There’s a sublime beauty driving Fotonica at all times.

It’s simple vector graphics twist and contort into images and designs which far succeed the simplicity with which they’re drawn, even more impressive in motion as you speed through levels barely having time to take it all in. The artistry and style expressed in these moments is at times stunning and always stimulating, mesmerizing and drastically different in tone and setting in each passing scene. Minimal sound design serves as a constant reminder of the speed and velocity with which you move, being both an invigorating source of feedback when you successfully land a jump and make it to top speed, and a sudden jolt should you miss and slam headfirst into a platform before beginning a fall into nothingness. Being in this world is in itself something of a wonder and a thrill, though one that constantly wishes to throw you out before you have a chance to behold all there is to see.

Controlled via a single button, Fotonica is an runner which compensates for its simplicity in design with challenging, extremely fast, multilayered levels with a very small margin for error. Finding the best paths and secrets within each level is an interesting and engaging element that extends your goal beyond the omnipresent fear of missing a jump and falling to your doom, and an aspect I would have liked to have seen more focus put upon besides effecting your score. Successfully making your way through these levels is invigorating, but more often than not it falls into punishing loops of trial and error, punctuated by occasional success as you incrementally make your way through levels memorizing your path and planning your jumps to the exact second.

It’s a challenge that’s certainly passable in time, but one which rarely feels fair. The monochromatic environments are often difficult to tell apart from the background and the draw distance painfully short, making judging distance and timing jumps frustrating and tedious. With how exact jumps tend to need to be to land, not having enough input to make the call of when to jump is a huge detriment to the experience.

Split into just ten very short levels (though it will of course take you longer to clear them at first), Fotonica feels like almost a prelude to a larger game. Its lacking so much content as to feel empty and possibly even unfinished, leaving me wondering what I was intended to do after completing them all in only an hour or so. The endless mode is a rather disappointing and throwaway addition, ditching the involved multifaceted platform layouts from the arcade mode for bland, single platforms which I grew tired of traversing almost immediately.

The multiplayer mode actually fixes my biggest issue with the game, that being its relentlessly punishing nature, by only setting you back a short way when you fail and then making the challenge about being the first to get to the end instead of memorizing and clearing levels on your own. Sadly it’s local only, and I doubt many will sit down with a group to spend much time with it, but the one button control scheme does mean there’s no issue of not having enough controllers as everyone can play with a single keyboard (or gamepad, if you’re dexterous enough).

I have a lot of problems with Fotonica, ones which fundamentally hurt my enjoyment of the game and have me incredibly confused on if I believe it’s worth anyone’s time to bother with. In that same instance though I’m reminded of just how artistic and imaginative running through these levels are, which caused me to continue playing far after I stopped having any great amount of “fun”. Is visual design alone enough to carry the game? I’m not sure I could give you a sincere answer, but even now I’m finding myself drawn back into it, no matter how loudly every other aspect is telling me to leave.

Full disclosure: FOTONICA was reviewed using a copy of the game provided by the developer. You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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39 of 57 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
EN
Impression :
v. 2
Photorealism, fluid or gravity physics, lighting refraction or diffraction, facial animation ...
(I played the game as a beta tester for the extended Steam edition, 8h+)
By many aspects it feels like the run for the closest description of reality is over* — even though human eye can still distinguish artificial from realty. So beside story-telling, what's left for creators to conquer ? VR probably and on the other hand I'd say “Descontruction”.
FOTONICA belongs to the last category. Using the endless running theme, FOTONICA is one of those game that masterfully recreate specific feelings thanks to great care for complementarity between motion, pace and sound.

Your eyes shall always try to predict what's beyond game's horizon, your mind will stumble and fall many times before it catches the “one-key” control. One unique original track for each level - mostly from minimal genre — even close to neural beats sometimes — brilliantly emphasize the global idea behind FOTONICA: Simplcity, the reprensation of scene only using white lines on deep black background.

Proceduraly generated level? In the case of FOTONICA I'd say : irrelevant. Still 3 “truly” endless runs await you. But you don't play F. for endless ...!

But pragmatically what does Fotonica offer? Jump and land, many alternative routes will be offered to you — creating the most effective one is rather complex. Goal? Achieve great speeds, never lose acceleration by hurting something or by satying in the air for too long while jumping. You'll need to pick-up purple patch, the faster you go while grabbing, the more marks you spare.

> 8 “handcrafted” levels >< 3 types of Endless >< 4 difficulty >< tweak your visual experience in option >< Steam-wide ladderboards >< split-screen multiplayer >< sharp & polished experience (so far, 9h)
- -Smithfield
Ajoutez-moi, si…!
Critiques:Les règles
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20 of 25 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
Incredible. Addictive. Psychedelic. Ingenious. I could use a lot of words. But it all comes down to this. This game has the best gameplay i have seen in years, and the overall experience is a great rush of enthusiasm. And that's what a game should be all about. I think i am in love.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 18, 2015
FOTONICA is a supremely well-done game. Graphics, music, and UI are all superb and easy to navigate. You'll never be stuck with only one world or level or difficulty setting. You're not even stuck with the hands! And if you're worried about a game that only requires one key to play being too easy.. don't be. Timing is everything!

I enjoy playing this on my iPhone.
I enjoy playing this on my 11 inch Macbook Air.
HOWEVER.
If you are able to sync your games to a big screen tv, FOTONICA is a must. I was playing in Cadorna and was suddenly straight up 2001: A Space Odyssey spacetime/dimension traveling.
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28 of 43 people (65%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
23.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 10, 2015
The PC version of the Photon is essentially the one who has known the game in 2011 has already been able to appreciate, together with the additions that we have described and the presence of some new purpose and configuration possibilities. The news does not seem to be able to unbalance the opinion of those who have got to try it at the time, but the arrival of Steam for this title certainly sounds as further confirmation of the quality of the project. Photonics is the classic title that you either love or hate, launching in the first case in wild ride in search of the perfect score, using occasionally the local multiplayer to give life even to some match in the company.
Photonics is perfectly at home on iOS, environment which allows him to better express the absolute minimalism of its control system keeping the distinctive graphic style. Original, challenging and with content height, Photonics is not, however, a product suitable for anyone: it is permissible to imagine that only the most hardcore users will be able to appreciate the gameplay ruthless and bold design, while casual gamers tend to side They could not find anything significant in this.
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