Originally released on PC in 2019, Technosphere Reload is a slower paced marble rolling sim where the ultimate goal is to get from Point A to Point B. Along the way, the player must overcome all sorts of traps and hazards as well as platforming obstacles like jumps and moving floors. Unlike other ball rollers, the goal isn’t necessarily to finish in the shortest amount of time but rather master the physics with the slower but highly accurate controls.
Instead of assumedly navigating mazes to find the way out, each stage is mostly composed of linear and narrow tracks. Eventually, level design starts to incorporate verticality and backtracking to complete some environmental puzzles but the player rarely needs to navigate large open platforms that require tight turns and quick speed. The slow pace of the methodical stage design plays into the measured controls but becomes a shame when the player dies. Checkpoints are often spaced too far apart and is annoying to replay these tedious segments that require a longer amount of time. Further, the only mapping system available is an on-screen compass indicator that simply provides direction. The problem is the camera remains pointed in that direction upon death, making respawns disorienting and lacking direction especially since the dark with neon glowing streaks of the environment all look the same.
Perhaps the strangest element built into Technosphere Reload’s gameplay is the fuel system. Apparently the marble requires fuel to move. However, the gameplay rarely plays into this feature. Instead, this ever draining meter at the top of the screen is there to constantly give the player a sense of non-existent anxiety.
Graphically, the game’s visuals are highly detailed but overall encased in a dark environment. This is probably by design, however, as the player can only see flickers of light in the background as a way to provide guidance on where to go next. This is one game that you will want to boost the gamma setting on your TV though. The soundtrack and bleak narrative also plays into this dark theme.
Technosphere Reload features a fluid and intuitive control scheme but the level design can be tedious thanks to an unforgiving checkpoint system and repetition. Also, the entire presentation and gameplay, even with the dark tones, comes off as boring. Moving a slow rolling ball through shadowy and narrow passageways isn’t nearly as exciting as racing to the finish with quality competition and power-up items. This is a different type of game and action/speed fans will want to look elsewhere.