I first played Crayon Physics Deluxe just under a year ago, when sniffing around the IGF entries, and adored it. Then the waiting began. Finally, nearly a year later, Petri Purho's Seumas McNally Grand Prize winning creation is available for pre-order.
There's still no official release date, although Purho has indicated that he hopes to get it finished before the end of the year. He's been working on the game full time for a year and a half, and after playing the version that deservedly won the top brass at this year's IGF in February, I cannot wait to find out what the last nine months have added. (Forty more levels being the most immediately obvious thing, with now 70 in total).
The premise is as lovely as you could hope to imagine. You draw shapes with your mouse (or completely ideally, on a tablet), and they come to life. To revisit a joke I made back in January on Eurogamer, it's like being Penny Crayon without the squawking horror of Su Pollard providing your voice. The engine creates crayon-like lines, that once finished pop into physics-influenced existence, letting you feel like a wizard. "I cast a CIRCLE!"
If you want to get a vague feel for this, check out the "quick and ugly" version, Crayon Physics, which is free to download. But remember, the Deluxe version bore almost no resemblance to this a year ago, so it'll be another league forward now. This tech demo can't generate a good number of geometric shapes that the Deluxe version has no problems with, and doesn't come close to the ingenuity of puzzle design in the proper version. But it will let you understand the basic premise.
For an another idea, check out the video below, showing a few of the tricks to complete the first few levels.
Which means it's time to start waiting impatiently for Fez.