escapeVektor: Chapter 1 was released for WiiWare last year and was a fantastic game.  It was meant to be the first in a series of different chapters that were scheduled to come out.  Unfortunately, escapeVektor: Chapter 1 will remain the only entry in the series available on WiiWare.  The good news is that escapeVektor is headed to the 3DS eShop with all four chapters, including the first, in a single download!  It’s also coming to the PS Vita as well, but all impressions here are based on the 3DS version.

There is a story in escapeVektor about having the main character, Vector, escape a computer he’s found himself trapped in.  Between some stages there will be some story, but it’s really not the main draw of the game.  escapeVektor’s strength comes from it’s addictive and fun game play.

The goal in escapeVektor is to guide Vektor, an arrow, over every white portion of line in the stage before reaching the level’s goal.  Vektor continually moves forward and riding over these white tracks that change color to notify the player that yes, they have run over the line.  It’s an amazingly simple, yet fun concept.  The game starts off easy enough, but eventually adds numerous enemies and traps to keep the player on their toes and to help ramp up the difficulty.

Fans of the WiiWare version may remember that there were upgrades to earn as well.  These upgrades, such as the ability to boost and drop bombs to destroy enemies, are back but so are some new additions.  The first new addition is the Super Boost that allows the player to move even faster than the regular boost but will eat up the boost meter at a faster rate.

The second and coolest new upgrade is Boostenate.  Boostenate will eat up both stored bombs as well as the boost meter when used but it’s extremely powerful and useful.  When this new ability is activated the player will boost at the Super Boost speed, be invincible, and destroy any enemy they run over.  Better yet is that using this fun new ability won’t hurt the player’s chance at gaining the “No Bombs Used” point bonus at the end of the level.

Unlocking these upgrades is based on the player’s total score in the game (cumulative score for each level).  This overall score acts as Vektor’s experience and when certain point levels are hit the player will gain access to the different upgrades mentioned above, or the ability to hold more bombs or have a larger stored boost meter.  Levels can be replayed after upgrades are earned, so getting a higher score later on may be easier, adding some longevity to the title.

The new stages that I tried in the 3DS version of escapeVektor are fantastic.  The guys at Nnooo, the game’s developer, are going for a different “feel” for the levels featured in each chapter.  Chapter 2’s stages feature many hidden areas that will gradually expose themselves to the player as lines are completed.

Chapter 3, the most exciting to me, has what Nnooo is calling a “race and chase” feel.  In Chapter 3 it’s common to see hoards of enemies on parallel lines racing into a common area.  Because of this it’s up to the player to make it to these central areas first and to complete the task of running over the lines before the area becomes too crowded.  Boostenate really comes in handy here, but I often found that it was sometimes possible to avoid the large numbers of enemies too, but that takes some crazy skills.

escapeVektor on the 3DS also features new enemies in addition to all the old ones.  One new enemy, the Locusts, are fast and can teleport to various places on the stage.  The coolest new enemy I came across was the Muncher.  Munchers are dangerous foes that actually eat up completed lines, forcing Vektor to run over them again.  Munchers can also drop bombs on the track that will destroy Vektor, as well as just eat Vektor if it catches up.  Munchers can be destroyed with bombs or by luring them into electric fences.

Even though the new stage types and enemies may sound a bit intimidating, it’s never so difficult that the player will want to throw their 3DS in anger.  In fact almost every mistake I made while playing felt that it was my fault and I wanted to try it again to improve.  escapeVektor is one of those addictive games where the player will often be saying to themselves, “Let me try that just one more time”, over and over again.

Wildcards are another new feature in escapeVektor on the 3DS.  Every time a player beats one of their own personal best scores for a stage they will be awarded with a Wildcard and 10 can be saved at a time.  Wildcards can then be used before a level, doubling the player’s score, as well as adding another effect to the stage to make it easier.

After all that’s been mentioned fans can look forward to even more features in escapeVektor on the 3DS.  The title will feature online leaderboards, over 100 stages and even remixes of stages!

escapeVektor has become my most wanted 3DS eShop game.  I personally feel the portable space is an even better fit for the title, but those that want to sample this game can download the first chapter of escapeVektor on the Wii Shop channel right now.  Sadly the WiiWare version will have to do for the time being as the full and superior version of escapeVektor is currently scheduled to hit the 3DS eShop by the end of the year and I can’t wait!

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