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iPhone: Subatomic -- out now! Plus free codes

12-02-2009, 02:09 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 18
Subatomic -- out now! Plus free codes (US and international)

Subatomic is a the latest game by 7b5 Labs (creators of the controversial XPilot port, previously reviewed on Touch Arcade). It's a free download, and levels 5-14 are a $2 upgrade. We'd love feedback on it, so are offering free upgrades to the first 20 people who play it and give us thoughtful feedback on the free portion of the game (in this thread, via PM, or via an app store review followed by a PM), and also agree to give feedback on the paid levels once we send their access code.

Subatomic @ 7b5 Labs
Subatomic @ App Store

Don't push around somebody your own size. Push around something 1000000000x smaller instead. And perhaps save the human race in the process.

Welcome to the world of Subatomic. The moves are simple: touch near the particles to push them away from your finger -- the closer you touch, the harder you'll push. The goal is even simpler: separate the red particles from the blue, guiding each into its matching Reactor Core. Generate matter/antimatter rocket fuel to help launch humanity's survivors to safety, while earning points to move you to the next level. To avoid a meltdown, just make sure the Cores don't run dry.

Sound easy? Sure it is. Until the radioactive particles start decaying. And the particles start to annihilate when you make a mistake. Before long you're dealing with particles pairing up, or rogue Reactor Cores drifting around the arena, or shifting gravitational gradients, or a menagerie of other unexpected hazards. That's when things start to get interesting. Just keep that zen-like cool and you'll be fine. The fate of humanity depends on it.

Subatomic is an addictively simple game of tactics and reflexes in a surreal microscopic world. Spend ten seconds or ten minutes at a time honing your skills in this physics-based realm where harmony and chaos are separated by a touch of your finger.

- FOUR fully playable levels INCLUDED FOR FREE
- UPGRADE IN-GAME for access to TEN ADDITIONAL LEVELS featuring a variety of new twists and hazards, for a total of 14 unique levels (upgrade costs $1.99)
- Three difficulty settings (for 42 possible level combinations)
- Exit the game at any time and come back a few seconds or a few days later, exactly where you left off
- Play against a background of Scanning Electron Microscope imagery courtesy of Jan Gräser, as well as the Alaska Volcano Observatory; the Unites States Geological Survey; and Dartmouth College

Director of Reverse Engineered Alien Technology
7b5 Labs -- Makers of Subatomic and XPilot

Last edited by SeanCier; 12-03-2009 at 09:11 AM. Reason: title
12-02-2009, 02:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,023
just nabbed this, visually it looked appealing and since its free to start then why not!

altho quite a brief experience i found myself quite liking this. the gfx are smooth and crisp, the touch controls are extremely responsive, on top of that i dont think ive played a game thats quite the same before.

the objective is to touch the screen which causes particles to zoom off in your desired direction and into a reactor, thus charging it up. as the levels move on it introduces new particles and spearate reactors for them to go into. its a lot simpler than i describe but it works really well.

no music may bother some but i guess you can play your own itunes library?

no online scores (may i suggest AGON) which would round this off nicely. $2 for 10 levels does seem a little on the steep side considering how swiftly i went thru the first 4 or 5 (albeit on easy). but this does represent true pick up and play which requires quick thinking and strategy.

Currently playing: Joe Dever's Lone Wolf and FM2014

12-02-2009, 02:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 18
Thanks for the feedback, Acidbottle. Sent you a PM.

Director of Reverse Engineered Alien Technology
7b5 Labs -- Makers of Subatomic and XPilot
12-02-2009, 02:49 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,739
Are the levels unlocked via promo? Meaning it has to be the US version of the game?

゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ
12-02-2009, 02:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 18
The unlock doesn't use promo codes, and will work internationally.

Director of Reverse Engineered Alien Technology
7b5 Labs -- Makers of Subatomic and XPilot
12-02-2009, 03:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,023
Originally Posted by SeanCier View Post
Thanks for the feedback, Acidbottle. Sent you a PM.
thats excellent! im from the UK and the access code is input via the settings menu. works like a charm, so if your outside the states now is your rare chance to help a developer and get a freebie at the same time!

the levels constantly evolve and get progressively more difficult as you would expect, i eventually hit a meltdown at level 9 when the physics changed dramatically by going in reverse

pricing is always a bone of contention with anything on the appstore, im undecided whether i would pay $2 for 10 levels or not. id certainly pay $2 for a full game with say 30 levels, i think theres is enough depth, variety and challenge to warrant that. it does feel much more polished than a 99c game and im actually enjoying it

Currently playing: Joe Dever's Lone Wolf and FM2014
12-02-2009, 09:25 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,442
I played through all of the levels available on Medium difficulty and here are my impressions:
  • Great backgrounds and particles, with a kewl touch effect
  • Can be a little frustrating, if you have to use multiple touches to guide one particle in. Perhaps adding a proximity around the destination to suck them in (like console goodies) would be helpful, so the player doesn't have to continually readjust if the trajectory isn't perfect.
  • Nice, gentle introduction to the mechanics
  • Seems like an ambient track would really add something to this; seems noticeably absent.
  • When I quit the game and press play again, it was not entirely clear whether I was continuing a game and not starting a new one.
  • Personally, I don't like having the iPhone clock bar visible during a game, because I think it is less immersive. I can see the other side of the argument, though, that you're waiting for a bus or whatever.
  • Might be nice to throw in some variety by have a powerup appear infrequently that you need to tap directly, instead of route away, that would provide a temporary benefit.
Overall, I would say that it is a good start, particularly because of the nice graphics and simple gameplay, but I think it could use a soundtrack and some more variety in later levels (which may already exist).

Good luck on your game!

Now Playing: Vietnam '65 | .Decluster | BP2Black | Monster Hunter Freedom Unite | Banner Saga | Ultimate General Gettysburg | Papers, Please | SmartGo Kifu | Crowntakers | Brogue | FTL
12-02-2009, 10:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 151
I like the graphic and the concept of the game... But it seems a little too short I just got through couple levels (easy) and $2 for 10 levels seem little too much. Maybe add some more levels? People's first impressions are usually at the first time playing, and people in itunes are not hesitant to slap on 1 star review and give some bad reviews if the first playthrough was bit short. I like the controls though Maybe 99 cents for the first few days of launch and try to update with some more levels
oh forgot.... Can you add option to play your own music? Sometimes game sounds get little repetitive
12-02-2009, 10:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 18
Thanks for the feedback so far everybody, this is very valuable stuff! I hear everybody loud and clear on the soundtrack, that'll be at the top of the list for the next version. It also sounds like a common concern is how short the free levels seem, and that ten additional levels don't seem worth $2.

I was surprised to discover that a good 80ish% of players seem to start on Easy -- we tuned Medium to provide what seemed like the right balance for many players, so Easy might be making the game seem too... easy. That's easy enough to fix; we may also add another level into the free version.

We actually kept the total number of levels down intentionally to avoid making things just arbitrarily complex, trying instead to maximize the replayability and uniqueness of each individual level (treating it as more of a little world of its own), but perhaps we went too far. For those who thought 10 levels seemed too little value, what would you think of this scenario: rather than levels, there are ten additional "worlds", each with a set of three levels of increasing difficulty. You can access the worlds in any order, but you must beat all three levels in all 10 worlds (for a total of 30 levels) to win the game.

And we'll definitely add a few new levels/worlds/twists in the next version!

djflippy and jinjin5000, PMs sent.

Director of Reverse Engineered Alien Technology
7b5 Labs -- Makers of Subatomic and XPilot
12-02-2009, 11:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 124
Ya seems cool so far