Released back in December 2018 for PC by SaintHeiser, Danger!Energy makes the jump to Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S home consoles. When you start the game, immediately the visual style of the static cutscenes bring Among Us vibes and sets the tone of the story.
You play as the newly appointed Captain aboard a ship tasked with powering the planet back up. After meeting the crew and discovering the previous Captain died in his post, you are sent to tackle the first area. The objective in-game is to completely restore power to each area by connecting generators, hopefully restoring power to the people below.
Comparable to many other titles’ “unlock the door system”, Danger!Energy is a puzzle game that requires thought, concentration and a lot of patience. To restore power the generators must be linked by segments; these segments must be placed carefully to navigate obstacles and various other roadblocks along the way such as impenetrable walls or energy barriers.
Controls work well with the thumbstick setting the distance of each segment, A button sets the section in place and B removes the last segment. You also have access to a mini map overview of each level, letting you work out your next move with a tap of Y. Most of the time these work well but occasionally the placement of segments is not very accurate. The lack of accuracy can lead to frustration down the latter sections of the game and often will lead to a restart regardless of how precise you attempt to be with your path.
The levels are themed and vary in style and difficulty. The starting area, Heat Fields, has levels set in an almost boiler room like aesthetic whereas Hydroflow is water based. Each level is introduced via the static cutscenes aboard the ship where the missions will be assigned. Sadly no spoken dialogue is present in these parts and some of the text only conversations can drag on a bit.
Danger!Energy is a puzzle game that gently eases the player in and, shouts SPARTA!, then kicks you down a well. This game has a serious spike after the opening level and throws a multitude of new mechanics and obstacles the player’s way. From simply connecting generators around a room with a set number of segments, you suddenly find yourself having to take into account limited lengths of segments and obstacles like prisms that can only have a segment pass through one way. Some areas will have you giving up many times before you have one attempt that solves the maze of frustration presented.
Music is often hit or miss in puzzle games and in Danger!Energy it is pleasing to say the soundtrack is definitely a hit. Feeling like a throwback to the good old arcade days, the music dramatically blares with its ‘80s action game beats as you make your way to the ending, if you can make it that far. As a whole the soundtrack is definitely a highlight of the experience.
On the side of graphics, we definitely see a kink in the armour as some sub-par static cutscenes feel very flash game-like and in the levels views are almost sub-HD with a washed out appearance. For sure a disappointment in a saturated indie puzzler landscape where standing out above the crowd is a must. Level view can also be frustrating as large object sizes are used, restricting the players view of the field as a whole. This can lead to misplacing segments and causing annoyance in the more complex lengthy final areas.
Danger!Energy is a puzzle game that will lure you in and have you quit just as fast at times outside the opening stages. The difficulty will be too much for some, whilst others will sadistically relish its devilish challenge. Sadly the game just does not feel top tier in its presentation and lacks a co-op challenge mode that could extend its life span significantly.
Achievement hunters will snap this game up faster than you can say ‘easy Gamerscore’ though. Danger!Energy gives out 1000 Gamerscore by simply completing the first 15 levels and this can be achieved in under 20 minutes with minimal restarts of the area. Good players may be able to finish all 15 in less time than this to net the points.
Sadly there is little replay value as the half attempt at challenges in the extras menu only awards players with replays of cutscenes, descriptions of new abilities, unlockable characters and world info. Whilst this may seem like a lot, the actual content is hardly worth tackling the extra challenges to achieve them.
As a puzzle game, Danger!Energy lives up to the name but fails to leave a lasting impression. Then again if the lure of an easy 1000 GS is up your street, this may be the game for you.
Danger!Energy is available from the Xbox Store