If you were a kid that grew up with the original Star Wars movies, we'd wager that at some stage you fantasised about flying around in an X-Wing. The Rebel Alliance's flagship star fighter is the one person wrecking ball that took out the Death Star, that moment when Luke Skywalker nails the trench run is the stuff of cinema legend. It's also the kind of intergalactic nostalgia that Futuridium personifies.

Developed by a small indie team from Italy, Futuridium is a puzzle game that likes to keep things simple. You pilot an angular spaceship that looks like a classic 2D arcade sprite that’s been forced into three dimensions. The game is made up of 50 levels that lock you toa forward trajectory as you strafe run capital ships of varying shapes and sizes. The objective is to destroy all the blue cubes that are scattered across the capital ship’s exterior. Knock them all out with your rapid firing laser and you'll expose a powercube that'll propel you towards the next level.

To call Futuridium a tricky game would be an understatement. Most players will be able to wing it through the opening levels on their first attempt, but once the game starts throwing in missile turrets and fiendish bosses, death is all but certain. The game quickly becomes a test of skill and memory as each unsuccessful attempt leads you closer to the perfect run. It’s hard going to begin with especially when learning the layout of a new level but each victory feels all the more satisfying once start using the turbo boost and 180 degree spin in perfect harmony. It’s all about building momentum.

There’s also a hint of Psygnosis in how the game fuses a neon palette and breakneck speed with a synth heavy soundtrack. We have no idea who “le d├ęgout” is but their hypnotic audio helps keep the player fixated on the task at hand.

It’s less of a Red Five frame of mind and more Tetris style tunnel vision that forces you to keep the blinks toa minimum. It’s just a shame, then, that Futuridium feels a tad dear for what if offers.

Compared to the free version that’s still available on PC and Mac, Futuridium EP Deluxe adds more music, enemies and modesforaless one di mensi onal experience. But unless you really buy into the score building mechanic and have a real passion for dubstep, the extra content doesn't really justify the steep price tag. That doesn’t stop Futuridium From being a fun puzzle game with shoot ‘em up
sensibilities, but we wouldn't be surprised if it finds itself on PlayStation Plus in a few months’ time.

7/10