This game is somewhere between Lost, physics and an IQ test.
There’s no dying, no dialogue and no real story to speak of (if this is what you’re after try The Cave). But despite this there is an ending.
You start with very little other than an overview of the controls and an empty map but the game is still very intuitive. Throughout, you will discover “words of wisdom” that give subtle clues as to how to approach the current puzzle, and mistakes rarely leave you high-and-dry but allow you to learn or lead you into another puzzle.
This is stunningly well designed, with each puzzle simply a continuation to the next. Even where you can’t yet complete a puzzle you are simply steered to one you can, all while exploring interconnected rooms and corridors… although in what dimension they are connected isn’t quite clear. What is clear is where you should be aiming next. Areas and rooms have numbers or colours or something which distinguishes them, removing the often frustrating experience of simply guessing what needs to happen next. Don’t misunderstand me though, the puzzles are challenging but the dynamics are simple.
The graphics are very simple too, despite using the Unreal Engine, but considering the fluidity of the level design, makes for an unobtrusive and seem-less experience, that doesn’t distract. Think 2001: A Space Odyssey rather than boring. The bold images are directly linked to skills you learn and give cues to past solutions.
Overall the game took me 7 hours to complete, with extra puzzles still available that give you an insight into the developers minds. It is elegant, challenging and fun; frustration free (mostly) and dare I say it – opens the mind.
Available for PC on Steam.