Innovative physics oriented gameplay

User Rating: 7.5 | Gish PC
Congratulations to Cronic Logic for a highly innovative game. Not since the Incredible Machine have I seen physics been integrated so tightly with a game's gameplay. You have just the right control mechanisms to make your hero tar-blob into an extension of yourself, in the sense it is very easy to get feel in control of all its movements. You will soon be taking advantage of all the most subtle ways physics makes it spin, contract, grip and slip to make it avoid all the dangers and pass through the levels in an elegant and fluent way. The physics engine gives the game a very "organic" feel, and two gaming sessions are never exactly the same. Many times you will experience something unexpected, sometimes with quite funny consequences. Seems to be many entertaining ways to kill the badguys for example. Although the main idea is great, the game is not as polished as I would wish for. The graphics has a major problem as it is way too dark at times. I can forgive the simplistic look, but the darkness can at times kill the fun of the game as it can simply be hard to see what is going on. All the blackness does not really go well with the light and humoristic tone of the game either, and can make important details be hard to see - like the difference between a sticky wall and a wall that is not sticky. Another problem is the massive amount of replays needed for each level. Ok, I know they want the game to last long, but often I find myself in a situation where I have passed all the obstacles on a level and there is only one tiny part in the end that causes problems. Having to go through ALL of the level time after time to find the right angle to solve the last problem is extremely frustrating and annoying. I cannot remember to have been more angry at a game since I was a kid and broke my joystick in fury. And why is it so hard to make the damn thing jump?? It would be 100x more fun if it jumped properly. Some of the problems in the game is often almost impossible to get right without a bit of luck. As the organic nature of the game engine can make something work one time, but not another time. It leads to the kind of trial and error gaming that is not very fulfilling, especially when it appears at the end of a level as stated above. But, the organic feel is at the same time what makes the game really new and fresh, so I tend to forgive this. The last problem I found is the game sometimes leave you in a situation where you can simply do nothing to continue. If the bridge you were supposed to walk on collapses, then what do you do? You have to kill yourself and start over. This is gamedesign from the 80s, and is considered bad practice in modern games. It does not happen often though. But, when all this is said, consider the low price, and also you get a tremendously addictive game with an entirely new twist to it. I got angry at it many times, but it was still money well spent...