Nova-111

Game review by
Marcia Morgan, Common Sense Media
Nova-111 Game Poster Image
Clever turn-based puzzler with action twist lots of fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Encourages creative, strategic thinking to solve unique puzzles. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players take on role of a heroic pilot, willing to do what they can to save others in need. Also, Dr. Science, a quirky tour guide of sorts, offers regular assistance to help guide players through this strange new universe. 

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.

Violence

Players pilot a small research vessel, which bumps against enemies, uses lasers, bombs to attack. Very mild cartoon violence; enemies disappear once defeated.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nova-111 is a downloadable puzzle game where players pilot a spaceship in an attempt to rescue 111 scientists lost in a time vortex. It promotes logical thinking, as players use their environment to solve puzzles and defeat a variety of enemies, each with different attack traits. Violence is minimal; enemies and environmental hazards are thwarted using bombs, lasers, and your spaceship itself to bump into them. Dr. Science is the only other notable character in the game, providing helpful tips and quirky commentary regarding his love of sandwiches.

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What's it about?

In NOVA-111, "The World's Greatest Science Experiment" goes awry, causing 111 of the world's top scientists to get sucked into a strange vortex and spread across the vastness of space and time. Making matters worse, their research into "Time Science" results in mayhem as the turn-based universe combined with the real-time universe, ruining the entire time-space continuum. As the pilot of the research vessel NOVA, players must dive into this twisted time vortex, navigating through hostile environments and strange creatures to find all 111 missing scientists before time, literally, runs out.   

Is it any good?

This space-based adventure combines turn-based gaming with real-time action so its puzzle elements feel simply terrific. The mechanics change with each level, and working with the two combined rule sets provides a frustratingly entertaining challenge. It's fun to figure out how to cleverly exploit the environment and the enemies, and this encourages players to use strategic thinking, planning, and creativity as they deal with hazards and obstacles.

The replayability factor is out of this world. At the end of each stage, you're given a grade that, keeping with the story's real-time, turn-based mechanic, is based he amount of time and number of moves it took you to complete each level. Your grade is also, naturally, affected by how many scientists you saved. You can improve your score by replaying the levels and snag a spot on the world leaderboard if you do well enough. With its unique setting, fun personality, and easy-to-play-but-hard-to-put-down gameplay, Nova-111 is a quirky sort of experience that is well worth checking out. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about strategic thinking. This game encourages players to complete puzzles in as few steps as possible, so what other situations can you think of where this type of efficiency would be helpful?

  • Talk about the ability to stop time in the game. If you could stop time, what would you do?

Game details

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For kids who love puzzles

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