There are plenty of eye-catching games, and there are some games that genuinely innovate. This indie project manages to do the impossible and combine the two, using torn-up paper and some serious fiddling with physics. At first glance it looks like a simple platformer, albeit one that’s been ripped out of that stack of magazines your granddad used to keep in the shed. Your character runs and jumps across the captivating scenery looking out for checkpoints. The twist? You have to rotate the world to get to them. (Twist. Oh, forget it.)
Hitting left or right turns the level 90 degrees that way, and you can even rotate it when your character is in mid air, guiding his fall. For instance, if your character is trapped in front of a giant block of rock, keep rotating the screen and the steep sides will become flat plains for him to walk on. Need to get to something on the ceiling? Keep turning the screen until you fall onto it. New elements are introduced all the time too, so there’s a new discovery on every level. Bouncy bamboo sticks are scattered about that you have to use as springboards to leap to higher ground, or there are flames you can use to burn through obstacles.
It sounds complicated, and the sort of puzzle platformer that could have you strangling yourself with a spare USB cable, but the checkpoints are plentiful. It means the ‘punishment’ for dying and having to retrace your steps is minimal, so you can afford to experiment to solve problems. The main dangers are falling too far, things falling on you, and the cast of weird and wonderful foes that skulk about this papery world.
The enemy presence is minimal but memorable: long-tongued lizards, rock-chucking primates and a devil hamster. Getting rid of them is all about using the environment cleverly; feeding a surly chimpanzee a banana or a distracting a giant carnivorous plant with a juicy bug. Sometimes these enemies are actually essential to your progress, like the demon hamster that chases you at a worrying speed but can also smash through rock barriers that lie in your path. As wall removal solutions go, a giant horned rodent has to be one of the best ever.
Consisting of 17 levels across three chapters, this is a short game, but it does come with extras. Finishing a section opens it up for competition mode where you can download other player’s times in ghost form, and upload your speed runs to the leaderboard. There are achievements too, to keep silverware fans hooked. Even with these extras it’s more of a gaming snack than a main meal, but as snacks go, consider this gold-encrusted caviar. And at the measly price, that has to be worth checking out.
Apr 28, 2009