Concentration and focus are usually some of the things required to get better at a game. Usually easier said than done, reflexes, muscle memory and hand to eye coordination are something that people practice when it comes to becoming better skilled at a game on top of the other mechanics in store. What about a game though that throws out all the fluff and other mechanics and just focus on the reflex and concentration parts? Well today the game we will looking at today sets out to do just that with Nukleus.
Nukleus is a reflex-based tapping challenge game developed by Umbrella Games LLC for 2016. Nukleus provides a stripped down single tap gaming experience on which players must change the color of a large sphere in the center of the screen accordance to any incoming smaller spheres with different colors.
During the time Nukleus was being reviewed, Nukleus is currently an exclusive game on iOS devices and can only be acquired on associated Apple iOS platforms so far in 2016. Nukleus is compatible on iOS devices that are running iOS versions 8.0 or above. iOS users who are up to test their reflexes with Nukleus’ fast paced tapping mechanics can go ahead and grab Nukleus by downloading the game directly via the Apple App Store in 2016. Nukleus has so far received a sizable positive reception as seen on the user ratings of Nukleus’ Apple App Store entry with an average score rating of 4 and a half stars out of 5 stars from over 190 users.
In Nukleus, players are given 3 available game modes to choose from which are ‘normal mode’, ‘hard core mode’, and ‘rotate mode’. In normal mode, players have to match up the color of incoming spheres coming from all angles reaching the central sphere. To change the color, the player has to simply tap the device’s touch screen once. Once players match up the colors properly, the smaller spheres will be absorbed by the central sphere and the player will earn points through each sphere absorbed. If a player mismatches the color of a sphere, the game will immediately proceed to a game over.
Hard core mode plays mostly the same as normal mode but the speed of the incoming spheres is faster than usual and the frequency and quantity of them appearing all over the screen are multiplied. The longer the player lasts during hard core mode, the more spheres will appear and the faster they will approach. In rotate mode, the game takes a slightly different approach in the game play where the central sphere’s colors are converted into two from opposite sides.
The player must rotate the sphere around using the rotational wheel located on the lower right corner of the screen and match up the proper side for any incoming colored spheres. Each mode has a separate leaderboard and also sports a different achievement system. All modes as well feature an additional dynamic difficulty modifier during gameplay on which every time the player reaches a certain amount in their score, the set of colors for the spheres and the background will change, alongside faster movement and speed of the incoming spheres. Future game modes are also planned during the time Nukleus was being reviewed, on which the menu sports a tag with ‘more modes coming soon’.
Nukleus In Game Store
Nukleus does not feature any earnable currencies nor an in-game store, but instead opts in for mandatory advertisements, on which image advertisements occasionally pop up on the bottom of the screen, or video advertisements that play after a game over. An option to get rid of all forms of advertisement is provided through an in-app purchase with real life money for a one-time payment of $0.99 USD.
Hacks, Cheats & Tips for Nukleus
Nukleus may provide a straightforward concept, but that concept alone is already something really challenging and tough to go through since not everyone can have super ninja reflexes in under a minute. Not to worry however, as we played through the game ourselves, we have a few tips here to help you increase your reflexes and overcome some of the tougher times and the game’s increasingly numerous spheres Nukleus tries to throw at you.
Practice on focusing both at the central sphere area, and having situational awareness on predicting on which direction the smaller spheres will come from. The reasons for doing the former is that so you can focus on immediately changing the color of the sphere on any nearby sphere that are very close to the central sphere, and for the latter is so that you can remind yourself to switch to a color immediately after taking care of the nearby spheres first. This is especially essential when you get more than 50 points as the colors of the spheres will change more erratically, making it essential to be aware of both your central sphere and the surrounding edges of the screen.
Watch for the patterns and count how many spheres you have absorbed before switching again. Sometimes there’s a pattern of that 5-10 spheres of one color with appear consecutively before another different set of colors will follow. Sometimes there are patterns where it just changes from one color to another rapidly. This a good alternative strategy to practice and memorize on when pure reflexes aren’t working, and a good way to train up your muscle memory as well. Some common dynamic patterns are from red to blue, and from orange to purple.
Take advantage of the background color changing as well, as this is a good way to hint at you on which set of colors the spheres will change from next. This almost becomes essential in hard core mode as things will be coming in too fast so you most likely will only have time to focus on the central sphere and watch for color changes from there. Watch out for spheres that change their direction suddenly, as there are rarer color spheres that go in a diagonal pattern or spin around for a while before charging into the central sphere instantly. Whenever these weirder spheres appear, treat them in accordance on when they appeared, which means they will still most likely hit the center first before any other spheres that came before it despite the appearance of not doing so.
Take note of the sound cues to know what score you have without having to look at the numbers counter. The announcer will usually announce your score after every 25 points. 25 points is also the usual time the color set will change. By focusing on the center instead rather than looking at the points counter every so often, you will have a better time on concentrating on incoming spheres while letting the announcer do the work for you on keeping track of your points and current level of difficulty.
During rotate mode, whenever the spheres aren’t appearing yet, try to make a slightly tilted position for the sphere so you can always turn to a certain direction faster without having to predict on where the spheres may be coming from. This becomes pretty essential once you get farther into the mode like the other modes, since the spheres will be travelling at increasing speeds and quantities the longer you hold up.
One thing that actually works exclusively on normal mode is that the game also applies dynamic difficulty to make things easier for you. This means every time you lose for a consecutive number of times in normal mode, the game adjusts accordingly by giving you an easier set on your next run. You can exploit this by losing on purpose about a dozen times, then playing normally afterwards. You will notice that the colors are significantly slower for the first 50 spheres, and the color patterns are more forgiving and predictable. Hard code mode is not affected by this however, as it has a certain threshold of difficulty from the start that won’t go any lower. As an extra note though, it does also work with rotate mode, which can be pretty useful as well if you’re having a tough time adapting to the game mode.
Nukleus takes another of the usual minimalist tap and touch game that is prominent within the world of mobile games. It’s not wholly original and there’s plenty of games like it with different takes on the concept, but what Nukleus benefits from is that it does it very effectively, especially by stripping off most of the fluffy and just giving players a skill based experience. Here are my full thoughts after a session with Nukleus.
Starting off with cool blues, let’s first talk about Nukleus’ visual presentation with the game’s graphics and artwork. Nukleus presents itself with a minimalist solid colors with some shadings artstyle which definitely works with what the game aims to be. It’s not distracting, easy to look at, smooth, and overall a pleasant game to look at. One thing that I really liked what Nukleus does however is that it adds a bit more oomph to its own presentation with subtle things like motion blur being applied on the fast moving spheres. It’s not exactly the shiniest of eye candies, but it just adds a certain amount of flair to the usual minimalist art style. The game itself runs pretty smooth and everything is just sleek to look at.
Proceeding with warmer yellows, let’s talk about Nukleus’ audio presentation with the game’s music and sound effects. Nukleus doesn’t really offer much on the audio department, with a distinct lack of music and just windy sounds of the moving spheres. One distinct sound bite however is the announcer, which gives off a great amount of enthusiasm on announcing simple things such as your score during gameplay. It’s a small thing, but it helps from both a gameplay perspective and manages to give off some liveliness on the gameplay.
Heading over to sneaky purples, let’s talk about Nukleus’ general concept, story and originality. Nukleus is yet another minimalist tap game in a world full of minimalist tapping games. It’s not exactly a novel of a game, and there has been plenty of similar games out there. Nukleus does however feature a decent amount of game modes, even if there were only 2 during the time this was reviewed. There’s also an undeniable sense of fun on how Nukleus approaches the minimalist reflex based gameplay with just getting straight to the point without having to worry about levels or power-ups.
Bracing for those hot red spheres, let’s talk about Nukleus’ fun factor and general gameplay. Nukleus opts in to focus on one thing, and by focusing on that one thing, it definitely has paid off. Nukleus’s simple single tap gameplay feels very polished and solid all throughout, and is a genuine challenge without having to resort on arbitrary difficulty curves that requires the player to do upgrades or purchase anything to help them fare better. This is a skill based and reflex based game in its purest form. The game gets genuinely challenging as you get further with a bigger score, with increasingly faster and trickier patterns. Both the regular modes and the rotate mode manages to also present a familiar yet different type of gameplay, and both all work out nicely in the end.
One final barrage with a rainbow of spheres, let’s finally talk about Nukleus’ lasting appeal with the game’s replay factor and addictiveness. There’s an undeniable sense of addictive gameplay from the get go with Nukleus thanks to the game’s fast paced and straightforward and streamlined nature. The fact it also includes a hard core difficulty does bring in a sense of challenge further, and the addition of a rotate mode keeps some things fresh. Nukleus does become repetitive over time, but it’s one of those repetitive games you can always come back to after taking a break. Another promising thing is that the developers have stated there would be more game modes coming out, making Nukleus something worth checking out in its current state, and something worth coming back to in the future.
Artwork: Nukleus presents a sleek and smooth minimalist art style that manages to give off some prettier eye candy vibes with the use of additional post processing like motion blur. On top of that, the color scheme that Nukleus has chosen is very colorful yet also easy on the eyes, providing a pretty looking game that also manages to not be distracting to detract from its skill based and reflex based nature. For these reasons, I give Nukleus’ artwork a solid 10/10 rating.
Music and Sound Effects: Nukleus lacks any form of a musical soundtrack, which is a bit of a shame because even some light ambient music would had been beneficial. Even the sound effects aren’t anything special and just comes off as something being there. Special props to Nukleus however to the addition of an energetic announcer that manages to give the player a non-distracting yet lively commentator during gameplay. For these reasons, I give Nukleus’ music and sound effects a 7/10 rating.
Story and Originality: Nukleus does not present anything new to the table in the one tap mobile game roster, and it uses the usual tropes with its minimalist nature. What Nukleus does present however is that it goes about it in a no nonsense approach, focusing heavily on the skill-based gameplay part, and is overall a fun game that is genuinely challenging. For these reasons, I give Nukleus’ story and originality a 7/10 rating.
General Gameplay: Nukleus skips out all the usual distractions, extras and fluff on some of these reflex-based games and just heads out for a fast paced reflex challenge that can get really tough but never feels unfair. Tapping fast and looking at an overwhelming number of spheres while still managing to hold on for so long is undeniably satisfying, and the rush of just going through 50 points and above alone is worth the experience. Normal mode serves as a fair introduction to the frenzy, and gives a taste of hard core mode once you get past the 100 points threshold. The experience of being able to easily make it 100 points every time is great, and being able to do so on hard core mode just feels awesome, giving the game a good sense of player progression. For these reasons, I give Nukleus’ general gameplay a solid 10/10 rating.
Addictiveness: Nukleus’s core gameplay is undeniably addicting thanks to the focus and polished around its simple concept. Despite not having much way for extras like cosmetics and the like, the game modes present right now are worth coming back to once in awhile, and the promise of more content in the future is quite nice as well. The present addition of the rotate mode alone is also worth mentioning and is as polished as the regular modes, which makes Nukleus sometimes feel like two minimalist games packaged into one. For these reasons, I give Nukleus’ addictiveness a 9/10 rating.
It may not be something that we haven’t seen before in the mobile market, Nukleus still provides plenty of reflex-based simple yet challenging fun. For these reasons, I give Nukleus an overall 8/10 rating.