By Nathan Grayson on January 29th, 2013 at 10:00 am.
Dimension-shifting’s one of those game mechanics that’s been around for ages in some form or another, but has really become A Thing in recent times. Quantum Conundrum‘s the biggest name, but countless indie puzzle-platformers have taken bold, rapid-fire strides into the
unknown, because why not? Multiple sets of entirely different rules? Sounds like a puzzle designer’s paradise to me. So I can’t entirely blame you if you’re feeling a bit fatigued by the concept. But, if nothing else, Oliver and Spike looks quite striking when, for instance, the entire, semi-open world level goes from dizzying, arid peaks to undersea wonderland. And there’s a puppy! I hope he gets his own dimension. Switch to the after-the-break dimension to see it in action.
So that was brief, but it gives you a decent idea of the potential underlying this one. And yes, it’s completely gorgeous. Meanwhile, further explanation of the dimensional-flip-floppery hints at a Biblical flood of depth – and not just, er, water – in later levels.
“Later in the game, Dimensions and their rules are not as simple as just jumping higher, double jump, or being able to swim, oh no. We have quite complex challenges and rules ready for you, and the Dimensions you are going to visit are going to be much more creative and tricky.”
Thus far, named dimensions include Aqual, Tera, and Firma, but less overtly obvious (and still currently non-detailed) options like Nefaris, Nifris, Tox, Treacle, Turvy, and Tint will occupy later clusters. From the sound of things, they come packaged in groups of three, so dimensional interplay will probably be pretty key in puzzle-solving.
Potentially even more promising, meanwhile, are the non-puzzle-focused elements going into each dimension. Characters, cultures, and personalities will all be unique depending on whether an area’s water-logged, tree-logged, or (hopefully) dog-logged, so it won’t just be a matter of plotting out the quickest course from point A to point B.
It’s looking quite nice in a candy coated “just far enough outside-the-box” kind of way. That said, I’m still wary of a few elements developer Rock Pocket plans to include (dear everyone, QTEs are horrible and responsible for all the world’s sadness except in Asura’s Wrath), so I’ll be watching from a high-walled, steel-reinforced dimension of cautiousness. And puppies. OK, mostly puppies. (They make better shields than you’d think.)