We have reviewed popular titles such as Gears of War and Battlefield in the past, ignoring some great indie games that our audience may benefit from. This first indie game review comes from our guest author, Vasu Chaturvedi. Vasu is a game designer, movie buff, and a script writer. He can be found on Twitter at @1starArchie.
And Yet It Moves is the debut title from Indie developers Broken Rules. In this unique platformer, the developers throw aside the regular approach of appealing to their players; they get rid of the storyline completely and just maintain their focus on giving the players an impressive gameplay and brilliance in art style. Surely, the name itself feels very odd and it does not make sense even while discovering how the game progresses.
In AYIM, you play a pencil-sketch cut-out character that is traversing the odd landscapes and the mysterious world around you. Your objective is to overcome numerous obstacles to reach a darkened door at the end of the world. But here is where the game’s real premise begins — in order to counter these obstacles, you have to use the primary mechanic of rotating the world around you. Your character has the ability to rotate the world around you by 90 or 180 degrees at any time in the direction. This in reality is what really sets the game on a different note, it creates a unique experience that forces you to look at the puzzles in front of you in a different manner, think and re-think your approach — one wrong move and you may be a victim of a fall down an endless abyss. The game has a unique way to guide you: on the way you shall encounter versions of yourself i.e your cut-out character, standing still as a checkpoint and once activated, this cut-out points towards a direction that you should go for in order to reach the next checkpoint and lead you across the mysterious world that AYIM presents before you. Usually in a platformer where you need to reach from one point to another, the focus is on giving you difficult terrains to traverse, unknown hostiles splurging on you, but what really sets this one apart is the fact that the developers give you the freedom to openly change the world as you like. AYIM presents you a world which you can turn with the click of a button, it’s times like these when you can proudly say that gravity is my friend. Use gravity as a weapon and you shall make good use of your environment as a weapon to take down anything that comes your way, needless to say you can even use the weapon on its own master, although it’s advisable to make sure that you do not twist and turn a lot since it can easily plunge you to your death. Gravity is your friend, but you shall not take (undue) advantage of it.
Visuals and Sounds
The game presents you with so many interesting things, and it’s impossible to forget them. The visuals immediately draw your attention and create a different mind-set, the artwork is beautiful. It works well with the theme and the developers have utilized it superbly, even the characters animations and movements feel fluid with plenty of ambient animations in the background to create a better effect. The sound design in itself is very different, it is not a combination of huge background scores that inspire awe, instead the music gives you an air of eeriness that might seem wrong in some games, but goes well with this one. Heck if it were any different, it would have been quite awkward.
The puzzles in the game are fairly easy to solve. They revolve around the premise that you use the rotation mechanics in the game and get from one point to another, as easy as it may sound. The developers have made it quite tough on you, the camera cannot be adjusted by the player, the puzzle difficulties grows by each level you clear and they make you really think before you move. It is a great combination of unique design and difficulty that create a vivid experience for the users. The camera zooms in and out at different intervals to make the players explore more regions in the map. If there was a way to adjust and interact with the camera, I do believe that it would have reduced the overall level of puzzles in the game and would not create the sense of accomplishment players now get on completion of each level. The camera movements in itself create a difficulty. It may beat you a few times, you may find yourself relying on ‘trial and error’ but in the end, each puzzle is designed in a unique way.
Finally, I would like to conclude that And Yet It Moves creates its own style and class among other platformers. Incredible visuals, sound and design backed up by solid gameplay and difficult puzzles make this game a unique blend of art and design and a definite play for all the fans of the genre as well as others who want to experience something different and intriguing for once. If I have convinced you enough, head over to the And Yet It Moves website to download a demo (and hopefully, the full game too!).
- Amazing art and sound design
- Solid gameplay and controls
- Unique puzzles
- Short length
- Lack of story