Some say that the arms race for graphical fidelity is only good for chasing photo-realism. Mirror Drop by former ThatGameCompany developer Ian Lilley is a stunning showcase of the kinds of borderline-mystical tricks a modern GPU can pull, all while delivering a mesmerising and engaging little puzzle game. You’ve just got to roll a ball from A to B by shifting gravity, simple enough, but the spaces are a beautiful but baffling perspective-warped labyrinth of spaces within spaces. Just watch the trailer inside to see what I’m rambling on about.
While the game did make its debut on Steam recently, you can also pick it up free and devoid of DRM on its official page here, so now you’ve got no excuse not to try it.
Mechanically, some of the perspective-warping stuff that Mirror Drop does reminds me of Stereopolis, one of the Leftfield Collection games at EGX Rezzed this year, although this is much more overtly a puzzle game, wheras Stereopolis was more of a casual exploration experience with some light puzzle bits on the side.
There’s a decent amount of weird colour-shifting, reality-bending meat on Mirror Drop’s bones. The developer estimates it’ll take you a bit over three hours to get through its 25 levels. The game runs on a bespoke ray-tracing engine, so there’s not a single polygon on show as most GPUs would define them. It’s all spheres, cubes and cylinders, with nary a triangle in sight. It’s an impressive technical feat, and apparently took a full year and a half to make, which makes it all the more surprising that you can grab the whole thing for free, so if you like it, considering throwing the developer a few bucks.