Nova-111 impressed many at both IndieCade and PAX Prime back in 2014, and now it has been released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita. Will it live up to its initial impressions?
The story of Nova-111 is fairly simple. You have a mission to try and collect the many lost scientists that have been spread throughout the many different worlds, as well as fix the aftermath of an ambitious science experiment gone wrong.
Many of the scientists have names that help bolster the light-hearted tone of the game. Some of the more notable examples are Dr. Science, Schrödinger’s cat, and Alex Turing. The former will provide commentary on your progress throughout the game, explain several of the game’s features, and categorize the enemies by giving them names based on their attack traits.
Nova-111 uses a mix of turn-based and real-time gameplay. You control the space ship and move around on a grid, as with a standard turn-based strategy game. As you traverse through the worlds, you’ll encounter numerous enemies and even some environmental hazards.
The environmental hazards tend to be real-time, and you’ll need to strategize in order to use them effectively. For example, you may pass under a stalactite while an enemy is nearby. To make the most out of this, you’ll need to time your turn-based moves so that the real-time-based stalactite will fall and hit your foe. If you wait, it could very well hit you instead.
The controls are quite simple, even when you get several of the upgrades. On the note of upgrades, you’ll be able to look forward to gaining a powerful beam, a bomb, and even a teleportation device. Each one of these opensup new gameplay mechanics, as well as more maneuvers that you can utilize to destroy your foes.
The game utilizes an auto-save function, which saves after you complete one of the worlds in the game. This can be somewhat frustrating if you accidentally back out of a level via the menu, as you’ll have to replay every level within that world, no matter how close you were to finishing it.
Nova-111 is a fun little adventure with great music and sound effects utilized to contribute to the game’s aesthetic in a positive way. It does have a few faults, including how quickly several of the upgrades are thrown at you (though this may be a personal preference, as I personally had no issue with it) and the auto-save feeling somewhat lacking at times, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
If you’re wanting an enjoyable turn-based adventure game, then Nova-111 definitely fits the bill.
Final Score: 4.25/5