|And Yet It Moves
Author: T_H_Schafer -- Posted: 2010-11-23
2D sidescrollers and platformers are about as old as videogames. Their mechanics haven't changed a whole lot since Mario and the NES days. Their MO rings, "Go right at a brisk pace, jump on that, avoid falling into pits and stomp enemies on your way to the goal." It's about as basic as wood but there's just something about that formula that taps into the collective core of gamers and non gamers alike. That's a videogame. After however many years since Mario pulverized the first goomba comes a 2D sidescroller that turns the whole jumble of mechanics upside-down, and quite often.
And Yet It Moves hands over the keys to gravity from the get go. You'll still jump, but where you desire down to be is entirely up to you. Controls are simple. Left for left, right for right, a button to jump... the similarities end there. The ability to tilt or flip the world is what sets AYIM apart from the rest. You'll use this unique ability to traverse locals such as caves and forests. You'll also use the gravity switcharoo voodoo that you do to manipulate objects and wildlife to solve puzzles.
I haven't been truly surprised by a game in a long time. AYIM surprised me, and delighted me. It made me say "Awesome" more than once, by myself, with no one around to hear me. I played the demo ages ago and thought I knew what to expect but I didn't. After I got used to tilting the world around the game throws some really interesting curves. I felt like the game was playing back, knowing exactly how you would tackle a puzzle or situation and blowing your mind by totally flipping how things work. That said, none of the puzzles were at all cheap, they only took a different kind of problem solving.
The music design and the visuals are very striking throughout, sometimes minimal and other times intricate. The paper cut out look is very cool and really starts to shine in the later levels. The music starts out pretty sparse with minimal atmospheric tones and sounds taking center stage. As you progress though the sounds become more abstract and the use of music increases to great effect.
I did feel AYIM was short, but I find it hard to take points away because of it. As a game, it is more than complete and was more like concentrated greatness than unfinished greatness. It does offer some replay-ability with speed runs, but those probably won't be everyone's cup of tea. Overall AYIM is a game that shouldn't be missed by anyone who's a fan of 2D games, platformers or even just games in general.