Someday I’m going to run into a monochrome game that doesn’t immediately seduce me with its good looks; but not today. I think might have a problem.
You can see why they do it, though. It really is the perfect way to make an eye-catching game on a budget. Plus, the light and darkness-type style lends itself to all sorts of easy symbolism. The metaphors practically write themselves! Nobody can ever be sure you’re not being deep and artistic, so you usually get the benefit of the doubt even if you’re not really saying anything.
When you first saw this one, you probably thought of Limbo, which is a pretty good comparison. Besides the gloomy black and white look, it’s also got that same sort of Nature & Gears aesthetic, where outdoor settings are interspersed with decaying mechanical ruins. Seems like it’s supposed to evoke some kind of post-apocalyptic world; but they don’t really tell you what happened and I was too busy admiring the scenery to ask.
The game itself is pretty standard puzzle-platformer type stuff. You know, find your way from Point A to Point B by navigating obstacles, avoiding the spikes and not getting yourself killed by the local hazards, which as you’d expect tend to involve light and shadow in a variety of ways.
The puzzles are mostly pretty easy, although they do start making you think a little by the end. What difficulty there is comes from two main things:
First off, something is very wrong with the switches here. Seriously, call the superintendent. Somebody needs to look into this, because half the time they didn’t flip when I told them to, and I’m pretty sure it’s not just me.
The other big challenge is not being able to use a controller in the sections that demand precision jumping; so I hope for your sake that you have a better setup than the stupid little arrow keys on my laptop. I didn’t think I was going to make it through this one stretch where you have to jump on tiny little blocks while spikey walls close in around you until I figured out that you can just avoid the button that triggers the spikes. I’m not sure whether you’re really supposed to do that, though.
Otherwise, it’s actually a pretty relaxing experience for a game like this. Like I said, if you’ve already played Limbo there’s probably not much here that you haven’t seen before, but if you like gloomy environments as much as I do it’ll definitely scratch that particular itch. They do take a halfhearted stab at telling some kind of story, but I stopped paying attention once it got confusing. I don’t know, maybe it was lost in translation.
Well, even though this game missed the opportunity to be much more than a pretty face, it’s fun for what it is; and at least it’s a cheap date.
Developer: bit paradigm
Publisher: bit paradigm
Played on: Steam
The Bottom Line: