Now Playing: English Country Tune

By Jim Rossignol on November 27th, 2011 at 2:23 pm.


Increpare’s brain-jammin’ 3D puzzle game, English Country Tune, has been released. The game plays with a bunch of spatial puzzle ideas to create some ingenious challenges. It’s had me going a bit hypnotoad with concentration trying to get through the puzzles. There’s a demo for PC and Mac on the site. You should play it. You really should.

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27 Comments »

  1. mentor07825 says:

    I really don’t want to pla- ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD!! | O | , O , | O |

  2. LTK says:

    This game has the most blatantly two-dimensional protagonist I’ve ever seen.

  3. pupsikaso says:

    Can’t you please tell us a bit more about why we should play it?

    • bateleur says:

      Based on the bits of it I’ve seen so far it’s exactly what increpare fans have been wanting for ages: his usual trademark style of discover-stuff-as-you-go-along puzzles, but really polished and with a good soundtrack. Also, in some ways it’s not even really one game – it’s a dozen or so games sharing an environment. Sort of.

      If you don’t like games that make you think it’s probably not for you, though.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      I’ve only played two thirds of the demo yet, but I’d describe it as “3d Sokoban in space” (the gravity is unusual).

    • pupsikaso says:

      Does it have country music?

    • zaphos says:

      The first worlds are 3D sokoban-ish, but the game changes as you progress and it soon becomes more than that. It’s a fascinating puzzle game — some of the later worlds blew me away, but I won’t spoil them.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      It seems interesting, and I’ll probably buy it – don’t know if I should get the big version or the iOS one, as this kind of thing could work nicely on a phone.

      But I don’t get the name. I’ve not heard a tune yet (the music can be described as an electronic hum – it’s fitting, but can’t be called a tune in any way), and I haven’t seen anything remotely like English Country either. Is this something that comes later, something I’m not getting, or a completely nonsensical title?

    • increpare says:

      It doesn’t have country music. If you want country music, I’d recommend having a look at http://therealtexasgame.com/ whenever it comes out.

    • vivlo says:

      real country music indeed

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      I got myself the iPhone version, and it’s a good fit. The controls feel more natural than in the desktop version, so I suspect this is their main target.

      Fun game.

  4. Artist says:

    Oh my god… do I see… BLOCKS!?

  5. Hoaxfish says:

    I got stuck on the world selection screen, not even realising that it was the world selection screen and just aimlessly rotating… then I actually worked it out

  6. johnpeat says:

    The video scared me – like properly ‘oh my head’ scared me.

  7. michal.lewtak says:

    Apart from the fact that you can’t rotate your camera with the mouse and the game decides the view angle as you move, making it sometimes hard to think spatially (you can pan the view around with shift+movement keys but it’s not the same, because it reverts when you let go, and you can’t move yourself while changing the view), this is a very good game with an enjoyable atmosphere and great soundtrack. Any puzzle fan will enjoy this game. It also follows the Valve formula of teaching the player different concepts by making the player discover them in simple environments. The demo has 2 worlds that should keep you occupied for 30 to 60 minutes, and the full version has 17 of them.

    • increpare says:

      michal, thanks for your comments :)

      I did my best to get by without the mouse look stuff you talk about – both by putting a lot of work into the camera systems, and putting work into level designs so that they played well with them. Camera positioning is a very fiddly thing that…is not the point of the game, and that I wanted to automate as much as possible (I tried getting rid of free-look entirely, but wasn’t able to figure out a good way ).

      There was mouse-look in the early version of the game, but it felt bad to have the mouse just used for rotating around and nothing else. As for allowing movement when looking around, that makes movement considerably less pleasant overall ( I had to add a ‘forward’ arrow when testing this out, but that didn’t stop it being really…a lot more strenuous ). My basic feeling is that it adds a *lot* of complexity-overhead to the game without contributing much back.

    • michal.lewtak says:

      Increpare, I think most headaches could be averted if you let player roll the camera around the 2D protagonist (since usually in the 3D environments you look at him from the top, so you’d be still looking from the top, but have the ability to change the angle to any of the 4 possible ones, instead of being forced with the one that all your movements led to). Also, it really wouldn’t hurt to be able to look around with the mouse, even if the player can’t move then due to the way the movement is programmed. It’s always a good tool and if people don’t want it, they don’t have to use it. Have you ever played the puzzle game Rush? The one about moving colored cubes to their destinations. You can rotate the camera freely with the mouse and it feels good.

    • increpare says:

      [quote]
      Have you ever played the puzzle game Rush? The one about moving colored cubes to their destinations. You can rotate the camera freely with the mouse and it feels good.[/quote]
      Bought and played it there for a bit. The whole input system is mouse-based, so it makes sense to have mouse orbit. If ECT used the mouse for everything else, I’d use the mouse orbit as well.

      [quote]It’s always a good tool and if people don’t want it, they don’t have to use it.[/quote]
      There are many features/controls that could be included, that might help out some people in some situations, but that I didn’t include. Extra features with tenuous and only occasional claims to utility impose a constant confusion overhead on all players (And I did test this – people found the presence mouse orbit genuinely irksome when it was in the game), and makes the game feel less elegant/more cludgy.

      A problem is still a problem, worthy of thought (and wrestled with it quite a bit), but in this case your proposed solution is one that causes more issues than it creates.

  8. danimalkingdom says:

    Zounds, can Stephen just stop making games, just for a second, so i can catch up? This guy.

    One of his games popped into my head earlier today. The one set in the mountains, in the house, with that family that are coming apart. It was such an unnerving experience. And then he makes Mister Puzzleface over here. I shake my head, and say “I think he might be a genius.” And then my girlfriend says “who?” and i try to explain but it’s hard.

  9. vivlo says:

    So… just finished the demo, it’s really mindbending, the music is epic, and mindbending as well, like other Increpare’s game music but in a finished fashion, and can’t wait to play the rest of the game (will have to unfortunately), it does have its unique mood, i hope it sells a million too.

  10. superflat says:

    I’m in love with this game.