GAUGE Review

Screenshot from GAUGE
Don't believe me? It's all in the numbers...

  • Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
  • Developer: Étienne Périn
  • Publisher: Neko Entertainment
  • Release Date: 23 May 2014
  • Time played: 22 minutes

What is it

Étienne Périn seems to be a French developer that has dabbled in indie game development for mobiles and PC, starting about a decade ago. Magnetis, a multiplayer puzzle game, was released on Steam way back in 2009 and has a "Mostly Positive" rating of 74% of the 31 user reviews rating the game as positive. He has also worked on a game called Zorbie (which is available on mobile) and GAUGE which was released on Steam in 2014. According to Périn's Twitter account, he now works as an art director at a French indie game studio called La Gamerie.

GAUGE is an arcade game developed using Multimedia Fusion 2 where the purpose of the game is to survive as long as possible by ensuring a bar doesn't come into contact with the edges of the gauge. You control how far out or how far in the bar goes using the space bar as a throttle; if you touch the edges too many times, it’s game over.

The game is no longer available for sale on Steam but it managed to rate pretty well with the Steam users and has a "Very Positive" rating with 87% of the 83 user reviews being positive.

How I got it

I’m always on the lookout for games developed in game engines that I happen to own (Multimedia Fusion 2 being one of them) so GAUGE was definitely a game I wanted to check out. However, I think I ended up getting this game purely by chance. Back in 2015 I managed to unlock a whole bunch of game keys but I can’t find any record of a bundle occurring at this time, so I believe this game was acquired from my old mate Mix-Master, who happened to own a lot of duplicate keys back in the day; once again, I am indebted to him for my Pile of Shame – so cheers buddy!

Screenshot from GAUGE
Adding the second gauge to keep things fresh and a bit more challenging was a good idea

What I like:

Simple to pick up

All you need is the space bar and the Ctrl key to play this game, and you use them as throttles for two bars you’re meant to control within the gauge. Sounds like an easy job, but the game will make sure it’s anything but.

Short games

Each game will only take a matter of seconds (or minutes, if you're actually half-decent at the game).

Developed in Multimedia Fusion 2

It’s always good to see what certain game engines are capable of.

Steam Achievements and Leaderboards

This is the perfect kind of game to be integrated with Steam Leaderboards: you’ll be able to compare your high scores with other Steam users who have played the game. The game also has 23 Steam Achievements you can unlock.

Screenshot from GAUGE
If you suffer from epilepsy, it's not recommended that you play this game.

What I dislike:

Trippy graphics

The game is definitely not one for people who suffer from epilepsy or even motion sickness. While I don’t suffer from either condition, I still felt a bit queasy after playing certain parts of the game: the trippy, psychedelic graphics probably don’t help in that regard…

Gets old quick

Some people like chasing those high scores or love a challenge so much that they’ll stop at nothing to complete a game. While I can see this game appealing to the sorts of people I just mentioned, it doesn’t appeal to me, and the simplistic gameplay got old really quick, despite there being a few game modes to experiment with too.

The game's not on sale anymore

Which means I'm reviewing a game that nobody can buy – feels kind of pointless but hey, at least I’ve got another game off my Pile of Shame, right? 😊. Although maybe it's something to do with the fact Steam switched to Australian Dollars recently, who knows?

Score – 6/10 (Okay)

It's a given that this game isn't ideal for those that suffer from conditions like epilepsy but even for those without (such as myself) there are still parts of the game that are probably a bit too trippy for comfort. As a short, arcade game that has simple controls and the ability to track your high score against other friends on Steam, it succeeds in this endeavour, however, I think there are better options out there: Canabalt and Super Hexagon are two that come to mind.

NOTE: The game doesn't appear to be currently available for sale on Steam.

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[ LINK: Étienne Périn’s Website ]