It’s maybe easiest to compare Antichamber to Portal, but it actually reminds me more of The Manhole, an old children’s adventure game where a boat ride down a river might take you into the teacup of a character you were chatting with earlier. Like that game, Antichamber is constantly subverting your expectations about what is possible, especially with regards to physical space, and gives you a relatively large amount of freedom to explore its interconnected world. However, whereas The Manhole was goalless and sometimes completely random, Antichamber has a logic behind it – a method to its madness – that makes it such an interesting puzzler (and a technical marvel, as well).
There’s no story to speak of in the game and barely even any text. Instead, proverbs are found on posters as you play, encouraging outside and inside the box thinking in life and acting as simple metaphors for the game’s puzzles. Antichamber is almost self-referential in this sense, since, according to its press page, the development got its start 7 years ago through “a series of naive programming mistakes” made by its creator, Alexander Bruce. And just as Bruce must have undoubtedly felt surprised, frustrated, and ultimately elated during his development of the game, so should fans of puzzle games that end up playing this terrific title.
What’s in the Box? is a clever puzzler from Finlay Costello, aka “finc”. The goal of the game is to carry a red box out of each level using your snake-like arm, a task complicated by the fact that the box is stopped by the red X’s and your hand is stopped by blue ones. Winning involves timing as well as puzzle-solving, and you’ll have to play perfectly (zero errors) to find out what’s in the box.
It should be mentioned that this is the first video game finc has ever made, using Game Maker 8. Congratulations!
Colin Northway’s physics puzzler Incredipede came out last week. In this unique game you guide a little cyclopean creature named Quozzle to the sunbeam at the end of 60 pre-made levels or a potentially infinite number of user-made levels (currently there are over a hundred in the in-game level browser). The challenge arises from controlling Quozzle’s legs, which are built out of long bones and squishy muscles. Some levels will give you a pre-made body and task you with the movement only, whereas others will let you place musculature or even bones. Needless to say, solutions to Incredipede’s levels can be quite varied and the free-form nature of the puzzles are a big part of the game’s appeal.
Overall, the production values are quite good, with attractive woodblock-style visuals by Thomas Shahan and sound effects by Super Meat Boy’s Jordan Fehr. Perhaps most impressive, however, is the game’s interface, which is quite intuitive, whether you’re adding legs to Quozzle or developing your own level to share with other players online. This is especially important given how often you’ll be tweaking your creations, which, if you’re anything like me, will veer toward the break-dancing, as-many-legs-as-possible variety.
Fans of Colin’s first title, Fantastic Contraption, will feel at home with Incredipede, as they are similar games at heart. Incredipede is available for $15 direct or from GOG.com. An 11-level demo is playable on the game’s website but does not include any of levels where you get to design your own Quozzle.
Steam Greenlight: Incredipede
This is a new trailer for Colin and Sarah Northway’s Incredipede, which features artwork by Thomas Shahan. Slated for a late October release, Incredipede is a physics-based platformer where you control Quozzle, a little creature that can be built and rebuilt using jointed limbs and muscles. According to the game’s website, it will come with 60 levels and a level editor.
Snapshot is based around storing objects in photographs which can then be placed in the world at will in order to solve puzzles, but a video is worth an indeterminately large amount of words so the trailer above shows the mechanics far better than I can describe them. The game was designed by Kyle Pulver, who began working on it all the way back in 2008 after finishing the excellent Bonesaw, and will be coming to several other platforms– Linux, Mac, Playstation 3, and PSVita –in the near future.
Retro-inspired platformer and puzzler La-Mulana will be returning to its PC roots next week.
Priced at $15 USD, the PC version of this remake will include the Hell Temple and Attack Mode features that were made available as DLC on the WiiWare version, as well as support easy modification of the game.
La-Mulana will be available at the launch of Playism’s new English site on July 13, 2012. The original game can still be downloaded for free however, so be sure to check it out in the meantime!
Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers is a new 3d action title from Black Pants Game Studio. The protagonist is Tiny, a little bean-shaped dude with an impressive laser gun that can cut through solid objects at any angle. The heart of the game involves using Tiny’s laser, grappling hook, and jetpack to solve puzzles throughout its six stages.
Special mention should be given to TnB’s art style, the brainchild of comicker Sebastian Stamm. Characters and environments are detailed with black lines and stippling. Likewise, the game’s dialogue and sound effects are all conveyed using Stamm’s unique word balloons and lettering. Looks quite cool, in my opinion.
You can get the game for $10 on Steam, GOG.com, and GamersGate.
After nearly five years of development, Polytron’s Fez has been released on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 MSP. The winner of this year’s IGF Grand Prize Award, Fez is a non-linear puzzle platformer where you can rotate the camera to reveal the world’s third dimension. The game features a soundtrack by Rich “Disasterpeace” Vreeland, which will be released on April 20th but is available for pre-order.
TIGdb: Entry for Fez
[This is a guest review by SirNiko. Originally posted on TIGForums.]
I finished Deadly Rooms of Death: Gunthro and the Epic Blunder and the bonus dungeon “Flood Warning”. This is a great series, but this entry is a little disappointing. I feel it’s my duty to outline it for those who haven’t played.
For those that are new to DROD, Deadly Rooms of Death is a puzzle game wherein you move the player around a grid-based world, killing monsters by carefully moving to hit them with your sword while keeping them from catching you and killing you in revenge. The result feels a little bit like chess meets the Adventures of Lolo. The game is broken into multiple levels, each of which contains roughly a dozen rooms. Slaying all the monsters in a room “clears” it, sometimes unlocking doors or allowing passage to new rooms. Clearing levels is required to advance the game. The experience is entirely cerebral.
Gunthro and the Epic Blunder is the fourth game in the main series, not counting some expansion-pack style bonus dungeons and DROD RPG, which more closely resembles Tower of the Sorcerer. The story is a prequel that takes place between DROD 1 and 2. Mechanically, the game is the easiest of the lot. This is in sharp contrast to the rapidly scaling difficulty of the previous games.
Offspring Fling is a new puzzle platformer from Kyle Pulver, the creator of Bonesaw and Depict1. You play a mother whose children have gone missing – the goal of each level is to bring your children to the exit and then exit yourself. True to the game’s title, you can fling your children horizontally to move them around and set off switches, among other things. Multiple children can be carried at once, which is sometimes necessary but limits the player’s freedom of movement.
The flinging mechanic is simple but is executed quite well – the timing and sound effects are quite satisfying. There are quite a few interesting things you can do with it, too, like stun enemies or perform mid-air catches. Throughout the game’s 100 unique levels you’re introduced to a lot of these concepts, and the finer properties of the game’s physics must be exploited to beat the developer’s speedruns (displayed as a black ghost during replays).
The one fault I find with the game is that it’s quite easy and doesn’t force you to use enough different tricks in each level. Even the final stages can feel like introductory ones, since many of them still revolve around a single concept. After beating Offspring Fling in a couple of hours, I couldn’t help but feel like some of the earlier levels could be combined to free up room for more tricky ones in the late game.
Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had here, and with the replay system and flower system I’ll definitely be enjoying the game for a while longer… especially since the graphics and Alec Holowka’s soundtrack are so delightful. Hopefully, a level editor or sequel will see the light of day so that more involved flinging can be done!
TIGdb: Entry for Offspring Fling