I knew very little about Probe L going in, only that it was a puzzler, despite at a glance looking like it might be an old timey arcade shooter. It is most definitely a puzzler, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
To refuel your ship, you send out a small unmanned probe to seek out energy diamonds. The trick is that because the probe is unmanned, you won’t control it directly. Instead, you move your cursor over various beacons set up around each level, causing the probe to move in that direction. Therefore, to get your probe to collect the energy diamonds, you must move strategically over the beacons in order to maneuver the probe as accurately as possible to the desired goal. This is a lot easier said than done.
Around the levels will be a variety of obstacles, such as purple energy beams that destroy your probe, and enemies whose movements you must avoid. There are also switches you must trip at the precise moment to allow your probe passage, and very quickly, you will find that there’s just a whole lot going on.
I strongly recommend following the tutorial levels first, as the controls will take a bit of getting used to before you’ve developed any sort of synchronicity with your probe. I would imagine, due to the unique nature of the controls, that jumping right in without a clue would lead to a very frustrating experience.
The graphics are very reminiscent of the neon-on-black Atari era, and the music is incredibly solid chiptune techno assortment. The tutorial levels’ music, while very strong, may wear on the nerves after extended play, but once you move on to the first “real” level, the music changes to a considerably more soothing experience. So stick with it!
Probe L is a very creative effort by developer Tadeon, and you can offer your support for the game over at IndieDB.