The cherry on top
Chuchel is a tour de force of animation, every scene so vibrant and hilarious, colourful and manic, the slightest tweaks in character facial expressions eliciting guffaws. Every new scene is a glorious delight just to look at, before you even start playing with it. And then, as you click on every element on the screen, delightful, silly and gorgeous things happen. This is a game where I find myself trying to work out what is the correct solution to any given puzzle, just so I can avoid clicking on it before I’ve clicked on everything else. I exhaust every repeated joke until it loops, don’t mind when they do, and call people in from other rooms to see the funniest moments. Chuchel is, beyond belief, wonderful.
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Please send help
Puzzlement is a very minimalist puzzle game that packs quite a lot of clever into its little space. You play a very Pac-Man-esque 2D ghost, who wanders around inside/outside a 3D space collecting red blobs. This element of a 2D creature falling around within a 3D environment is completely bemusing, to the point where playing it for a little while is making just typing these letters in a straight line on this screen a confusing experience. Read the rest of this entry »
Land of Tiles
This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they underwent to make the best bits of their games. This time, Gorogoa [official site].
Gorogoa is a game about fitting things together. Fitting a detail in one image with a detail in another and see how it produces something new. And in making it, developer Jason Roberts found that making things fit was one of the greatest challenges he faced, whether those things were puzzles into the game’s tiles, sequences into its story, or details into players’ heads.
Gorogoa is also a game about linking things together. You draw relationships between images and find them leading into and influencing wider themes. And in making it, Roberts found that each decision he made had profound effects on others, the biggest being limiting the game to its two-by-two grid. Read the rest of this entry »
Through the square window
Gorogoa feels like a sort of magic that might fall apart in the understanding. It’s a beautiful story in which you solve puzzles more by instinct than deduction, and their solutions feel as magical as the process. Its impossibly overlapping world weaves a delicate fiction that stretches beyond the boundaries of its central conceit. Read the rest of this entry »
The process from phone to PC is often a troubled one. But how does a long-time mobile favourite fare with its transition to Alphabear: Hardcover Edition [official site]? Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »
Clone Something Good
You don’t actually need an original gimmick, developers. You can just take an old gimmick and do it really well. That’s BOOR’s [official site] approach, a 2D platform puzzle game in which your character can create very temporary clones of herself and work in cooperation with them. We’ve seen it lots of times before, but when a good idea is done nicely, it’s – well – a good idea! Make it utterly, utterly lovely to look at and you’re well on your way. Read the rest of this entry »
Direct line to my heart
After nearly twenty years in this job, it still doesn’t get any less exciting to find a lovely new game. Linelight [official site] from My Dog Zorro is one such thing, a clean, beautifully presented puzzle game. Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »
Not really pushing my buttons
I might start a service where I go door to door to puzzle game developers and just calmly reassure them they don’t need an excuse. “It’s fine. No one’s judging you for making a puzzle game! We love them. You don’t need to hide it. You don’t need to disguise it. You don’t need a story.” My gentle, mellifluous tone will steady their nerves, help them relax into their chosen genre, and everyone will benefit. Imprint-X [official site] is a novel little puzzle game from the creators of 2015’s Rymd Resa put beneath some absolute drivel of a story, and after hours of playing I haven’t managed to identify any coherent connection between the two. Read the rest of this entry »
The PC is oddly bereft of decent Picross/Nonogram puzzles. Could Pictopix [official site] finally be the version that lets us put down our 3DS? Here’s wot I think: Read the rest of this entry »
Rusty Lake Hotel [official site] is a game I have meant to write about on RPS for so long. I missed its release, and found it by luck on my phone when searching for interesting escape-the-room games. And wow, did I find interesting. And not only did I discover the incredible Rusty Lake Hotel game, a dark and devastatingly creepy murder mystery adventure, but also their catalogue of remarkably unsettling and often brilliant free Cube Escape games. Each release fits into a larger mythology that feels ominously huge and yet barely understood, awful stories of gruesome deaths and mysterious looming bird-headed figures, time-bending weirdness, and an overriding notion of cruelty that’s hard to quantify. In short, they’re completely wonderful. So I enter Rusty Lake: Roots [official site] with a great sense of anticipation. Here’s wot I think:
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