Direct Your Attention Towards Redirection

By Graham Smith on April 8th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Everything you own in a box to the left.

Rezzed 2014 was a place where games were crammed into every corner, even some that weren’t scheduled to be there. Daniel Ratcliffe, creator of Minecraft mods ComputerCraft and qCraft, sat on the floor to the left of the Leftfield Collection to show me his puzzle game Redirection. It’s a maze game in the Stephen “increpare” Lavelle mould in which you place blocks to re-shape paths and direct robots towards objectives.

There is now a block in front of you. Rotate and continue below, where there’s a video and I’ll attempt to explain its appeal a little more.

These games are hard to write about because tightly wound logic puzzles resist woolly analysis. There is no plot or metaphor for me to grasp onto. Redirection is about different coloured squares: one set which turns left upon meeting an obstacle, and another which turns right when meeting an obstacle. You place objects in their path accordingly, choosing the correct spot on the grid to send them trundling off towards their intended final resting spot. Or, if you’re me, to send them over the edges of the level and into the abyss.

The game is full of smart, small design decisions. There’s a rewind and fast-forward button, which negates the frustration of mistakes or some of the patience necessary for trial and error. The levels grow gradually in complexity, till you’re positioning blocks in the correct order to create paths for other blocks. Successfully completing a puzzle feels like “tidying up”, in the same way as slotting a Tetris block into position. It’s as base a thrill as striking a headshot, but in later levels is accomplished by staring at the board and thinking for a long time. When you finally decide where to correctly place your obstacles, it feels better for the mental effort required to predict the outcome of the rebounding objects.

I don’t know how to explain why I enjoyed my time playing Redirection any better than that, but I think it’s probably the kind of game where you can tell from a screenshot – or that video – whether it’s for you. If it is, try voting for it on Steam Greenlight.

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6 Comments »

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  1. KDR_11k says:

    Somewhat similar to Rush (the Two Tribes game) then?

    • ravencheek says:

      Thank god you mentioned it first.

      This doesn’t even look remotely original, it looks like they just took RUSH dumbed down the graphics and are now trying to release it.

      If anyone wants RUSH it’s a good puzzle game, seems simple enough but becomes very difficult.

      It’s currently 70% off, which is a nice bargain for the time it occupied me http://store.steampowered.com/app/38720/

      • The First Door says:

        Also, Rush has (or at least had) GLaDOS levels which scared my half to death. Having GLaDOS suddenly start talking to you in a totally unrelated game, completely unexpectedly is terrifying!

        Anyway, it’s not like RUSH was the first game to do this concept either, see Chu Chu Rocket, for example. It’s quite the old style of puzzle game, as I’m sure I remember something like it on the C64, but I can’t for the life of me remember the name!

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    LTK says:

    Back to Bed also has the same basis, I believe.

  3. SillyWizard says:

    Harry Potter makes videogames?

  4. Tom Walker says:

    This looks like the sort of game I’d be in interested in playing, but not if it cost very much money.