It’s not every day that you get to control a natural disaster. However, Eruption gives you that opportunity, no matter how short-lived the excitement may be.
You play as a volcano and wreak havoc on the villagers who dare to dwell on your island. As you play, you progress through different eras, each containing a checklist of “goals” to complete. To progress to the next era, you must complete your goal with the set number of powers. Depending on the era, you will be given any variation of the four powers: Magma rock, eruption, fissure or lightning. Each power has different advantages to use in certain situations.
Depending on the era, you will be given any variation of the four powers: Magma rock, eruption, fissure or lightning. Each power has different advantages to use in certain situations. While this is fun at first, the lack of variety makes for gameplay to run stale quickly.
The first time you use each ability is fun and it’s exciting to watch the havoc that ensues, but the joy isn’t the same after that. You know what to expect from the powers and, given that there’s only four of them, you can only switch up the play style so much.
The only power that feels like it has a semblance of tactic to it is the eruption ability. The flow of lava goes down the side of the volcano and follows the bumps and cracks along the way, making you think tactfully before you drop the lava on the villagers.
The campaign consists of 18 eras, all on the same island. Nothing about the landscape changes except the placement of the destructible items such as trees, temples and villages. Even after all the years that pass between each era, the island remains almost the same throughout all of it. This coupled with the aforementioned abilities leads to repetitive gameplay that, while fun at first, gets boring quickly.
Eruption offers an alternative “free mode,” putting your volcano on a giant island with unlimited abilities. This was satisfying for a bit until the island inevitable became covered in lava.
The lava that destroys a majority of the environment is vibrant, colorful and feels like an outlier to the rest of the games art style. The destruction the lava leaves behind is visible from the birds-eye view in the form of smoke and steam. Everything else — the landscape, villages, villagers and magma rock craters are low quality and don’t have any aesthetic appeal to them. Graphics don’t make or break a game to me, however, the graphics in Eruption doesn’t seem to compensate for the dry gameplay.
Eruption virtually has one song that plays during the game. While it fits the island theme, it doesn’t add or take anything away from the experience. It’s not catchy and it feels like it’s just there for the sake of being there.
It appears that, since the release of the game, the developer has gone dark on this project. Neither their Twitter or Facebook have made status updates since August and their Steam News page is completely empty. For the asking price, Eruption provides a decent amount of content, but the replay value is extremely low due to the overall repetitiveness and stale gameplay. I don’t see myself coming back to this game anytime soon.
Eruption is available on Steam.
DISCLAIMER: The product, Eruption, was given to us by developer Lava Flow Games LLC. This does not affect the outcome or final score of the review.
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Travis is a graduate of SUNY Fredonia with a BA in journalism. He has had a passion for gaming ever since he played Pokémon Red Version and Donkey Kong 64. Some of his all-time favorite titles include Halo Reach, Spec Ops: The Line and Fallout: New Vegas. In his free time, Travis enjoys making a hot mess of himself and making situations awkward. Finger guns and puns are his specialties.