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Game Maker Games - Valence
Review by tapeworm
In a world of sequels and clones, it's always nice to see games that have originality. I don't know that Jph Wacheski has a rival among GM creators in consistently delivering high-quality original games. And this one is, of course, no exception.

In Valence, you control a birdlike digital lifeform that inhabits an energy well in the "Temporal Void." You can orbit the well, which resembles a small sun, or land on its surface. As long as you are on the surface, you gain energy. When you gain enough energy, you advance to the next level. But you aren't the only one attracted to the well--you must deal with an onslaught of insectoid attackers and other creatures as you attempt to gather energy.

Other than basic movement, you can do three things: Press M to fire energy shots (which depletes your energy), press N to switch your firing direction (in or out), and press B to activate your shield (which also consumes energy).

Graphics and sounds in Valence are simple and abstract, and at the same time very effective. The flashing colors, trailing shadows, and electrical bolts create a convincing atmosphere, and the sound only adds to the effect. I especially like the acceleration sound as your energy increases.

This can be a pretty challenging game the first time you play it. But it doesn't take long to get used to the controls and the strategy, and it's worth the effort to do so. Speaking of strategy, you have a choice of approaches. You can cautiously stay on or near the surface or you can fly high above it, and both and both have their advantages. One more thing on strategy--when on the well's surface, press and hold the down arrow key to circle faster. This can make a big difference.

If you've played and enjoyed any of Wacheski's past titles, you've probably don't need my recommendation to convince you to try Valence.

Download Valence (EXE, ~5.3 MB , Suitable for everyone )

Launch Jph Wacheski (Iteration Games)'s Website

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Opinions about Valence
engaging
100%
artistic
100%
original
100%
strange
100%
challenging
100%
polished
100%
compelling
100%

Overall: recommended

Recommendations: The 19 people who like Valence also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2007.07.18 The Third Man
Rating: 9

I've always had a bit of an anti-wacheski streak after playing LockOn, commonly worshipped as the God of Game Maker Games, and finding it tremendously dull and ridiculously overrated. But this game completely redeems Jph in my eyes.

It's original, atmospheric, addictive, challenging, and . . . well, everything LockOn wasn't. A near perfect game.
2005.06.17 AndrewFM
Rating: 10

No doubt about it... I'm buying this game. I seriously like this even better than lock on.. this is just extremely addictive, and so mesmorizing. I just cant get over how well done the game is, expecially the particle effects. This is a MUST PLAY.
2005.06.02 Counter-Strike-
Rating: 10

Wow that was an amazing game..
Very addictive.
Great storyline and gameplay.
its also a very abstract game and i like it its the first of its kind that i have come across in game maker.
Good job. overall rating: 10
2005.02.07 Dr.Luigi777
Rating: 9

An extremely original game. Great graphics, sound and gameplay make this game stand out amongst others.
2005.02.01 Sampe
Rating: 10

Man, this is so great game! Graphics, sounds, music, gameplay and so on. Everything is good! I really enjoyed this game! Maybe the best game that I've ever played! GREAT job Jph! :)

10
2004.11.26 L33TNerd
Rating: 10

Very good! Great graphics and sound effects! I agree with Lackey, I play all of JPH's games with headphones; it's truley amazing! Especially in lockOn.
2004.10.01 thesodamachine
Rating: 8

Like it a lot, but I think Lock On is just a little better. ;)
2004.08.22 Lackey
Rating: --

Can't think of anything that would make this game better. The action is very original and has a great play-flow to it that I really enjoy. Also, playing this with headphones late at night can be a truly eerie experience.
2004.08.18 Mocha Man
Rating: --

Another wacheski classic. This game is extremely addictive and has the same polished surrealistic feel that's present in all of jph's games.
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