This came out in 2014 and passed me by. I found it about 6 months
ago, and it has been a constant plaything since. I haven't finished, but
have played enough to be confident in what I am about to tell you about
Portal 2 is one of my favourite endeavours. This is the closest thing
I have played to that, and it holds its own. Which in my books is high
There are two games here, or more accurately two layers. The first is
a first person puzzle box, one where you utilise a range of objects to
successfully complete outdoor "rooms" (Grecian gardens is
probably a more apt description). You might have a box which can be
placed on a pressure pad to trigger a gate to open, or used to create
height for another item, or even to block the path of a gliding sphere
that is potentially fatal and distinctly in the way. You might also have
a jamming device, which can disable gates, gun turrets and other things.
Or a thing like a theodolite which is used to connect beams of light
from a source to an objective, generally to open a gate.
More often than not you will have a combination of these things, or
multiple of them.
Your prize if you can complete your room is a Tetris-like piece,
which when you have enough of the right pieces are used to unlock more
areas and move further through the realm.
The game does an excellent job of working you into its complexities.
The early rooms have limited objects, and are completed fairly easily.
As you move on, the complexity increases, and you will have more things
and more interconnectedness between them to manage. Opening spaces in a
room will usually give you access to additional items, each of them
integral in the ultimate solution assuming you can work out how to move
them to where you need to use them.
I sat for many a long moment, thinking about what I had, and how to
place them to perhaps move on. You might open a gate in one way, and
then do something else to keep it open while you retrieve the earlier
objects in order to use them somewhere else. I put things on other
things to direct beams over walls, hid behind boxes to avoid turrets and
spheres, and carried things back and forth and back again. There is some
timing in some solves.
Thinking creatively and laterally is important. So is trying things
and failing. You can "die", which simply returns you to the
start of the room, and you can reset (i.e. restart) the room at any time
with the X key. Some solutions are ingeniously simple, others
All are logical, and puzzlingly fun.
The second layer involves an existential dialogue on what it is/might
be to be human. You awaken with no idea of what went before, and are
immediately confronted by the alleged voice of God. Your endeavours
derive from the task he/she gives you,
You will soon encounter a somewhat passive/aggressive library
assistant, accessed through terminals dotted around the environment.
What starts as assistance shifts to an interrogation on morals, and then
morphs into a full on philosophical confrontation. Where what and who
you are is relevant. Reflecting on the nature of the original Talos
gives even more reason to wonder.
You can (at least where I am at) ignore this entirely and just solve
the rooms. But if you did, and while the assistant isn’t GLaDOS, you
would be missing a whole heap of what is on offer.
The game plays with the WASD keys and you steer and interact with the
mouse. It autosaves as you enter or complete rooms. It looks and sounds
as good as it plays.
Maybe there are answers at the end. Maybe there aren’t, and yet
that will be an answer in itself. Regardless, if you like puzzle rooms
and pondering and don’t mind a bit of “actiony” failing and trying
again, I can’t imagine you won’t like this.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz