And Yet It Moves has more than just an intriguing, ambiguous title. The upcoming WiiWare puzzle game also features one of the more unique control schemes we've come across in games of late. Based on a PC and Mac game by the same name, And Yet It Moves is coming to WiiWare this spring, and we had a chance to check it out at today's Nintendo press summit in San Francisco. As it turns out, the game offers some noticeable improvements over the original.
Before we get to those improvements, however, let's talk about how the game is played. Ostensibly a platformer, you move your little black-and-white hand-drawn character across the screen, avoiding obstacles as you go. Just how you move that character is what sets this game apart. Using the nunchuk attachment, you can walk by pressing the analog stick left or right and jump using the Z button. However, when you press the A button, the world freezes and you can then flip the screen in any direction simply by twisting your Wii Remote in the appropriate direction. Once you let go of the A button, the screen comes back to life and your character's momentum will be affected by the new direction he's facing.
Flipping the world on its ear has more uses than you might think. For instance if you run up to a ledge that is too narrow for you to pass under, you can flip the screen 90 degrees and let your character fall through that narrow passage. In fact, falling around obstacles becomes a skill you pick up quickly in And Yet It Moves, and you'll soon get used to rapid-fire freezes of the screen in order to place your character in just the right position.
Beyond moving the screen to position your character, the problem of obstacles rears its head early in the game. For instance, a pile of rocks you land on is harmless at one angle, but if you flip things upside down, those rocks become deadly when they crash down on top of you. In the game's opening levels (which take place in a cave environment), these rocks and boulders will be a consistent threat; thus, you'll have to open up your full bag of screen-flipping tricks to get by some of these tricky puzzles.
There are three chapters and a playable epilogue in the game's Story mode (which, admittedly, doesn't contain much of a story). All of them take place in radically different environments. For example, the second chapter takes place in a forest environment, with plenty of moving branches and swings you'll need to navigate. The third chapter takes place in something like a fever dream full of pulsating walls that can crush you if you aren't careful and invisible platforms that only appear when the screen is titled at a certain angle.
You can't really die in And Yet It Moves; instead, you just reset at the previous save point an unlimited number of times. In fact, the developers at Broken Rules refer to the game's learning curve as "learning by dying." That said, there are some different game modes available for those looking for some extra challenge, including a Time Trial mode and another mode that will allow you only a certain number of a screen flips.
In terms of control, And Yet It Moves has benefited from the switch to the Wii, thanks to some better controls. In the PC version, you could only flip the screen in 90-degree increments--with the increased sensitivity of the Wii Remote, you can twist to any angle, giving you much more creativity in solving the game's puzzles. That said, the game's attractive (if occasionally visually confusing) photographic collage art style is still in full effect.
Finally a word about the game's title: Developers told us it was suggested by a staff member who liked its ambiguity and its tie to the game's motion-based controls. It's also a quote attributed to physicist Galileo Galilei, who allegedly muttered the phrase while testifying before the Inquisition for his belief that the earth moves around the sun. Heady stuff, and a title perfectly suited to such a brain-bending game.
Look for And Yet It Moves this spring on WiiWare.