Wednesday, November 9, 2011


If you live, and you're not me, you probably have a cell phone. (I have one, but it doesn't work anymore. I hate the things.) Consequently, you rely on wireless signals to make your cell phone work - and Sota is all about those signals.


Sota's a pure puzzler. At the beginning of each map, which consists of a roughly rectangular area covered in geometric shapes both big and small, you're given a series of radio towers that send out signals. When you drop one of these towers, like so:

The signal radiates outward in all directions until it hits something. Then it stops. You need to make the signals hit as much of each map as possible by correctly positioning the towers. Simple concept, simple execution... simple game. Perhaps a little too simple.

My primary difficulty with Sota stemmed from the language. This game was made by somebody for whom English must be a second language, and though I hardly insist that everybody on the planet speak English, if you're going to offer instructions on how to play the game, you need a proper translator - or to use universal symbols to get your point across. (Not that Sota's tough to figure out on your own, but still.)


Point, click. Almost nothing to it. If you don't want a tower in a certain spot anymore, click it again and reposition it. The fact that the towers don't always disappear when you click seems a rather trifling thing to point out, but there you go.


Sota looks okay. Everything appears to be drawn by pencil, which gives it a nice, soft aesthetic... one that gets a bit boring after a while. Inoffensive, but not as creative as it could be.


The music in Sota is fairly inoffensive, and I don't mind the tracks in isolation. What annoyed me is the fact that each map cycled between a handful of songs, each fairly different from the last - and since each level may only last a couple seconds, that means your ears are having to make acoustical leaps all the time. Jarring and annoying. The programmer would have been better off allowing the player to change tracks if and when they wanted, and not forcing a change.

Challenge Rating

Sota is woefully easy, despite having 40 levels. Even the higher levels are quite easy to beat. There's not nearly enough variation, and an interesting concept goes largely wasted. And while it's true that getting 100 percent on every level is a bit tricky, you don't NEED to do that, and as far as I can tell there's no big prize for doing so. Not interesting enough to be bothered.

The end result? You'll see this sign all the time:

No challenge. Sigh.


Sota boasts a neat idea wrapped in a whole lot of meh. A more exciting and challenge sequel might prove a worthy Flash competitor; otherwise, there are a whole lot of other, better browser games to play.

But in case you wanna try anyway...


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