Globosome: Path of the Swarm is an action-puzzle game from Navel. It's based on an animated short that follows the evolution and gradual end of tiny lifeforms that settle on a barren rock planet.

Both the film and the game are metaphors for humanity's relationship with Earth, which makes for a pretty heavy message. While Globosome: Path of the Swarm tries its best to live up to its weighty story material, the actual gameplay is a bit too clumsy to be considered award-winning.

You start each level of Globosome: Path of the Swarm as a simple life form that resembles a brown dot. Dotty reproduces by rolling over / eating the plants scattered around the landscape. If he feeds well, he winds up with a veritable army following him.

The more dots you have trailing dot prime the better. A certain number of dots are required to break down plant barriers in select levels. Moreover, dots equal herd security. If a few stragglers meet their end because of a hazard, no big deal - but if the original dot dies, you're booted back to the last checkpoint you hit.

Plain heroes

Globosome: Path of the Swarm takes some inspiration from other "swarm" games like Pikmin. It's not nearly as whimsical as Nintendo's adventure series, though.

Globosome's flora are a bit exotic-looking, but still a little too reminiscent of real-life sunflowers and dandelions (though there are some neat surprises, like a puzzle involving flowers that vanish before they can be eaten).

The dots are uninteresting, too. Granted, they're based on the life forms populating the Globosome movie, but that doesn't change the fact there isn't much to them. They roll, squeak, and jump up and down. That's about it for emoting.

No control

Simple character designs aren't a sin, but problematic controls are. Globosome: Path of the Swarm has three options: Tilt, on-screen buttons, and controllers (if you have one). I wasn't able to try out the controller option, but the other two control schemes feel just slightly "off."

When you push the dots to roll as quickly as possible, sometimes they book it, and sometimes they seem to crawl. Terrain doesn't appear to make a difference, as the dots will often climb a level's rock wall barriers without issue (even though they're obviously not supposed to).

Globosome's controls aren't terrible, but they're definitely a problem when the game demands precision. Even early levels have you rolling on narrow ledges - with widely-spaced checkpoints, by the way.

The fixed camera is also an issue when there's a lot of jumping to be done. When the view is zoomed-out, it can be difficult to tell where exactly you're going to land. You swear you made a jump accurately, only to find yourself on the ground.

And yet, for all its flaws, it's hard to really dislike Globosome: Path of the Swarm. When you're allowed to roll free on open plains and eat to your heart's content, you get a sense of progression. There is definitely potential for excellence here, but a lot of polish needs to be applied first.