Octagon Review


Rating: 4 out of 5

Price: free

I haven’t heard the word ‘octagon’ mentioned as many times in my classes since geometry freshman year.

From Flappy Bird to 2048, it seems minimalist, addictive games are all the rage these days. Octagon is no exception. The game’s website describes it as ‘a minimal arcade with maximum challenge’, which, to a large extent, is very accurate. In almost every one of my classes, several of my peers intently monitor a colorful, very distracting, MacBook Air screen that is definitely not a Google Classroom assignment. The Octagon plague has struck.

The goal of Octagon is to finish a level without falling off or hitting into any of the obstacles in the way. In this first-person game, are controlling a rolling octagon-shaped ball through eight-sided tunnels, around speed bumps and keeping it from falling over the edge of the maze’s platform. Simple enough, right?

Except it isn’t. Although Octagon is based on a very minimal design with lots of whitespace, the colors of the maze are ever changing and a revolving pinwheel of colors in the background keeps players visually stimulated. Though I must admit that Octagon’s basic and colorful logo is very compelling, I dislike the colors in the background. Not only do the colors distract my playing, but also anyone else around me. Besides the graphics, Octagon also features an upbeat, fun soundtrack to go along this fast-paced game.

Octagon’s logistics can also allude players to underestimating it; it only feature three very basic controls: the left arrow moves the octagon marble left, the right arrow moves it right and the up arrow moves it up. To avoid obstacles and the gaps in the floor quickly moving under, players need a lot of focus and good reflexes. Skip one twitch, delay for a second or press the wrong key and it’s game over. A pie chart will then display how much of the level was passed and just a press of the Enter key later, players are engulfed in a wheel of colors again.

And again, and again and again until the teacher asks students to put their laptops away, halting the hypnosis.

Well, until lunch anyways.