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Bouncing Ball Bearings: Sphere

Sphere is another in an increasing list of impressive student projects created in Unity. Here, a strong central idea is delivered through the medium of a first-person puzzle game with the most flimsy of narrative trappings. What's clever here, as in so many of these playgrounds of spatial progression, is the mode of transport. Not portals, not cubes, but the titular sphere, a small, bouncing ball which chimes musically as it goes. Recall it with a click of the left mouse and the trail that it followed after being lobbed is marked on the screen; holding down the right button sends the player travelling along that same trail. Trailer below. Play online or download, for Mac or PC, here.

It's not the most helpful trailer in the world, although the music is quite lovely and continues to be so in the game itself. In fact, it's playing in the background as I'm writing this and making me far more contented with life than I'd be if it wasn't.

Although I haven't finished what's available, I've been far enough to see that there are some clever obstacles and limitations imposed. I also almost quit in exasperation because I wanted to invert the Y axis. When I hit escape in a huff the option magically appeared on a menu. I am sometimes an impulsive fool.

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