Minimalism describes movements in the arts, especially visual arts and music, where the work is set out to expose the essence, essentials or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts. With this in mind, developer Salmi Games created their first mobile title Ellipsis. Does a title made with the intention to offer less offer you enough? -- Find out in our review.
Upon starting Ellipsis, you are provided no text or directions. You are greeted by a stage in ambient space and a blue glowing reticle waiting for your touch. Once you hold down the blue sphere, the stage music starts and your goal is simple. Collect a number of spheres, the goal will appear and you must simply pass through it. This is a welcomed breath of fresh air because the game is designed well enough where you immediately are aware of your goals. No words just action.
The title seemingly takes place in a strange empty portion of space. I say seemingly because after time you'll realize that this galaxy is many things but small. Your progression feels more like you're charting a course to planets instead of moving from stage to stage. Stages are bright, beautiful, and thought provoking. You don't know where you're going but go on because wanderlust compels you to do so. Your reward for doing so is to see how complex these planets can become.
One of Ellipsis' greatest strengths is that its difficulty is organic. Challenges escalate rather slowly, and you'll hardly notice it. In the beginning, things are simple as you just need to reach the goal. Then, obstacles start to show up little by little as you move on. Finally, when you do notice that stages are no longer easy, that's when the game becomes engrossing. Now, by the time you notice you've naturally become better; as the puzzles and enemies (yes there are enemies) become much more complex nothing will be too difficult for you.
Ellipsis does have a few blemishes in it's design and execution however. Now, you'll control your blue sphere with your index finger. With the more difficult stages, you need to have a full view of all its hazards. Your finger may obscure your view partially as you navigate the stage and cause more deaths than you like. This is a minor problem and can be addressed with a stylus pen.
This is a rare game that manages to do so much with so little. Your skill and puzzling solving abilities are tested progressively across 130 + stages. You'll explore ever-expanding space featuring colorful visuals and ambient music along your journey.
Ellipsis is defined as an intentional omission from a text without alerting its original meaning.
With this definition in mind, Salmi Games has developed a game that is certainly minimal in it's design and core. In doing so, they've crafted one of the most entertaining mobile titles available. With that said, we can't recommend playing Ellipsis enough. Ellipsis is available for download on the Google Play and Apple Store.