devonrv

Back in 2011-2012, I was reading an article that was about games the author wanted to see on the Wii E-Shop (not Wii U, this was before then). I don’t remember too much about the article itself, only that the website background was green and that all of the games were ones I recognized and either already planned on playing or had no interest in. However, when I read the comments, one user mentioned a game I had never heard of, so I looked it up, and that’s how I found out about what might just be MY FAVORITE GAME OF ALL TIME (and if you’ve read some of my posts, you know that isn’t something I say lightly). I’m not even kidding.

Seriously, if you’ve ever wondered why I’m so harsh on the games I post about, it’s because games like this exist.

Bask in the glory that is Sutte Hakkun, mortals!

This is Sutte Hakkun, and it’s a puzzle platformer, but…well, you know how the “action” label for games actually contains multiple fully-fledged genres (platfomer, beat ‘em up, shooters, etc.)? I’ve found out that “puzzle” games are the same way, and before I can adequately describe why I like this game so much, I have to distinguish the puzzle genres from each other:

What is a puzzle?

The answer may surprise you

More

I had a draft of this part on my desktop, but said desktop is in the shop getting fixed, so I'll have to type this from memory. It should still get the point across, though; I'll probably just end up forgetting some examples.


HIDDEN OBJECT GAMES
Includes: Portal 1, Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess

These are games where the challenge isn't so much in figuring out what you have to do and moreso in finding that one piece of the puzzle that you didn't even realize was there. In Portal, it's looking around to see which walls you can shoot a portal at, and once you've found them all, the solution becomes obvious (the most challenging parts are when the game blocks your view, like in the beginning of advanced chamber 18). The Legend of Zelda games are similar: can't figure out how to get past that new obstacle? Just wait until you find the item specific to this dungeon and use it!

And sure, they may play differently than, say, an Artifex Mundi title, but the core concept is the same. However, these types of games are less "I Spy" and less "solve a jigsaw puzzle" and more "nearly complete jigsaw but one of the pieces fell under the couch cushions."


RIDDLES
Includes: Antichamber, Petscop

These are games where the challenge is in figuring out the game's underlying system of logic (in other words, how to play the game in the first place). There's also very little consistency between puzzles, so knowledge of one solution will have little bearing on your ability to solve future puzzles (unless it's literally a regurgitation of the previous puzzle). Think of your stereotypical point-and-click adventure game (or pretty much any adventure game that isn't just a Walking Simulator). The game may tell you how to move, but if you come across a locked door, it's up to you to figure out which key opens that door (and afterward, you likely won't be using that key again), assuming it's a key you need in the first place. See that wall that looks exactly the same as all of the other walls? It's fake, and it's your fault for not figuring that out. Oh, you didn't realize that when I said "three legs" I meant "two legs and a cane" and when I said "morning" and "night" I meant "infancy" and "old age"? Sucks to be you, LOL; you're dead.

Honestly, I will never understand why anyone likes riddles, and they will forever be the bane of my existence. Look, there's someone complaining about how this puzzle game's puzzles are too hard! Is it because they're obtuse riddles, or is it because of genuinely clever level design? I can never be sure anymore.

Side note: These types of puzzles are also a common trope in video-game-related creepypastas since obtuse riddles are inherently scary (did you go into the cabin that looked exactly like all the other cabins? You chose the wrong cabin and lost).


ACTION GAMES
Includes: Donkey Kong 1994, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Telsagrad, Adventures of Pip, Holy Hell (GBA)

These are good games, but they are not puzzle games. They are action games with running gimmicks. Specifically, those first four games are action-platformers, but this mentality seeped into other action genres, too (that last one is a SHMUP).

Here's a typical puzzle in Teslagrad: red floor, you need to jump higher; solution: turn red (opposites attract, same colors repel because magnets). How does the game get harder? By focusing on twitch-reflexes, i.e. the same way action games get harder. Sure, there are times where the game introduces a hazard and you have to figure out how to deal with it, but those parts are few and far between.


ARCADE STYLE
Includes: Tetris, Puzzle Bobble/Bust A Move, Puzzle League, Dr. Mario, Virtual Lab, Wario's Woods

Things that separates these games from other puzzle games are time limits, being endless, but mainly: randomness. In Tetris, there's no set solution; you just keep fitting pieces together until you lose (and the game gets harder by making the pieces go faster, a.k.a. focusing on twitch-reflexes, which is antithetical to puzzles). Puzzle Bobble has set stages and could also potentially have puzzles, but the ammunition you get is still randomized, so if you just cleared the last green bubble but have another green bubble as your next projectile, you have to throw it somewhere and hope you can clear it later (and if you wait too long, a timer starts ticking down to shoot the bubble automatically). Similarly, the pills that Dr. Mario throws are also randomized, so you can't plan ahead by more than one turn (and it's common to get a pill that will block some viruses no matter where you put it).

Same Game is probably the closest these get to being a proper puzzle game. This game has no time limit, its stages have set sizes, and you can even undo your moves all the way back to the beginning (unless there are no more moves forward, in which case you lose). However, levels are still randomized, so you can never be sure if the current build is even winnable. Heck, there's even a button dedicated to re-randomizing the board; why would that be there if the developers weren't confident in their algorithms?


PLACEMENT-BASED
Includes: Sutte Hakkun, Toki Tori 1, Sudoku, Twisted Lines, Slayaway Camp

I took the name for these from something my brother said when I was talking about puzzle games with him. I did that because I couldn't come up with a non-biased name for them myself.

Anyway, these are games where the game tells you absolutely everything about how every object in the game works. You know exactly what they do and every possible way they can be used.

I fully admit that these games have the potential to be really boring when done poorly, like Twisted Lines and Slayaway Camp (which only had a few levels that were remotely challenging at best). However, despite this, the best of these types of games are able to make challenging puzzles through clever level design, so what you have to figure out is where to place/use each item and in what order. These puzzles can never get obtuse unless the game never tells you something, in which case it's a riddle-based puzzle, not a placement-based one. No matter how hard the puzzles get, if you can't figure out the solution, you know that it's your fault, not the game's, and if you ever look up a solution for one of the game's puzzles, you'll feel dumb and think "aww, I could have figured that out myself."


TL;DR: What separates this game from most other puzzle games is that it manages to have a difficulty curve and really challenging puzzles without ever being obtuse. If you can’t figure out the solution, you know that it’s your fault, not the game’s. You will never be stumped on a puzzle as a result of the game not telling you something because the game tells you what every object in the game does and how exactly every object in the game can be used.

However, what puts this game above other placement-based puzzle games like Toki Tori 1 (which I also recommend) is that Toki Tori 1 introduces new items for each world, but Sutte Hakkun manages to be much less gimmicky. This will take a bit of explaining….

Here’s how the game works: there are 10 worlds with 10 stages each, and you have access to the first 30 at the beginning of the game. Clear 25 stages and you unlock the next 30; clear 50 and you unlock the next 30, and at 75 cleared stages, you unlock the final 10. Clear all stages and you beat the game (and unlock 10 “EXTRA” stages that I haven’t cleared yet). Your character’s size is two units by two units, and you can jump three units high (plus one pixel EDIT: Nope; three units exactly). The goal of each level is to collect all of the rainbow crystals (though most levels only have one, and no level has more than three IIRC); collect all the rainbow crystals in a stage and you’ve cleared the level. Each level can contain any amount (including none) of the following items: ink jars (each contains 1 of 3 different colors), movable blocks, dogs, rocks, glass panes, color switches, arrow tiles (only allow through-movement in the direction they point) and…one other thing that I’ll bring up later. You can absorb ink, blocks, dogs, and rocks, and place them in front of you anywhere (except rocks and dogs can’t be placed inside solid tiles). However, ink can only be placed inside blocks and dogs; releasing ink anywhere else will just have it fall off the stage, and you have to go back to an ink jar if you want ink again (assuming there’s even one in the stage). There’s also a little trick you can do with blocks where if you hold the release-object button while releasing a block, you can press up to lift the block up by a unit. Colorless blocks and dogs will stay still (though dogs are affected by gravity while blocks aren’t), but if you color them, their behavior changes: red blocks repeatedly move up 4 units and down 4 units; blue blocks repeatedly move forward 4 units and backward 4 units (“forward” depends on the direction you’re facing when you color the block); yellow blocks move diagonally up-and-forward 4 units each and down-and-backward 4 units each; red dogs become springboards, effectively giving you an extra unit of height to your jump (technically two units, but it shrinks by one unit when you stand on it for the springboard effect to be visualized); blue dogs walk back and forth, turning around at cliffs and walls; yellow dogs pound the ground repeatedly and are really only useful when placed over a color switch (which changes the ink color inside the ink jars when jumped on top of or pounded; nothing happens when they’re hit from the side or from below). Be careful, though, because if you press the absorb button next to a colored block or dog, you absorb the color, not the object. Rocks decrease your jump height by one unit while absorbed (while also limiting your horizontal movement in mid-air), and if one is dropped on glass panes from 3 units above or higher (whether by themselves or absorbed by you), they break the glass and fall through. Lastly, you can walk through blocks and ink jars, but not rocks, dogs, or glass.

EDIT: Dang, I almost forgot: if an object affected by gravity is dropped onto another object affected by gravity, it deletes said object and continues to fall.

Oh, there are also spikes and pitfalls, but I think it’s obvious what those do.

Did you read that entire paragraph? Congratulations, you now have the knowledge to solve literally every puzzle in the entire game (with the exception of levels with that other item, which I’ll get to in a few paragraphs). Now, all of that may seem complex in text form, but even though there’s an in-game tutorial in the protagonist’s hut, the game is really good about teaching the player all of those mechanics through level design alone, so you can still figure out how to play even if you don’t speak Japanese; the only exception is stage 1-8, which does a terrible job of teaching the player about that “hold up to raise the block by one unit after releasing it” trick. I solved around half of the game’s puzzles before finally looking up a walkthrough. However, about a year ago, a fan-made English translation was released, so not only does that address the problem with 1-8, it also means there hasn’t been a better time to check this game out.

But anyway, onto why this game is better than Toki Tori. As stated before, Toki Tori introduces at least one new item in each of its four worlds, with certain items being exclusive to certain worlds. You may recognize this as an example of the “add new things to keep gameplay fresh” philosophy, but that philosophy is garbage propogated by people who suck at level design, and Sutte Hakkun is proof that those people are full of crap. Blocks and red ink are both introduced in the first level; blue ink is introduced in the fourth; yellow the seventh; color switches the tenth; dogs (all colors) are introduced in 3-2; rocks and glass are introduced in 3-3; heck, even arrow-tiles and that-which-must-not-be-named are introduced in 4-1 EDIT: before 4-1; I didn’t double-check the levels very well (some of the dogs show up before 3-2 as well IIRC). That’s over half of the game without any new objects being introduced, and the game STILL MANAGES TO CREATE CHALLENGING, NON-OBTUSE PUZZLES! Sure, the beginning of the game is easy, but that’s to get new players used to how the game controls and how everything works, which is what a difficulty curve is supposed to do (EDIT: that and provide decent challenges afterward, which this game also does). Toki Tori 1 had two really challenging levels in its main game, both in the last world (with one being the final level), but Sutte Hakkun’s late-game manages to have consistenly-challenging puzzles (plus or minus a few levels in worlds 8, 9, and 10, and one in world 6, but when one of the game’s only problems is a slightly inconsistent difficulty curve, I can forgive it considering how many other GOTYs don’t have one in the first place).

Honestly, the only time besides 1-8 where I felt I had to do something the game didn’t tell me was in 7-3; I’m pretty sure the only way to beat that level is by jumping immediately after breaking a glass pane while you have a rock absorbed. Considering how no other level makes you do something not covered in the in-game tutorial, I wouldn’t be surprised if I just sequence-broke the puzzle, but I’m still counting it as a flaw (but even then, that’s only 1% of all the levels; the rest of the game manages to be challenging without having to resort to less-than-intuitive tactics).

EDIT: I thought about it, then I went back and played it; turns out, you just have a small window of time to let go of the rock, then you have to jump again from the ledge to get the height needed to break the glass. Ignore all of my issues with 7-3.

The game even has a unique compromise for a way to reward skilled players without resorting to a time limit. Rather than have a timer ticking down, (though you do unlock a timer ticking up when you clear all 100 levels) you start with 1000 points for each of the first 30 levels, 2000 points for each of the second 30 levels, and 3000 points for each of the last 40 levels, and each action you perform reduces your point total by a certain amount (walking for a second deducts one point, jumping deducts three, absorbing and releasing deduct five each, and quick-saving deducts 20). That way, you’re not punished for sitting there trying to figure out what to do next, allowing for the game to have what challenging puzzles it has. I never ran out of points, so I don’t know if that triggers a fail-state, but if you ever get stuck in a level, you can always reset the level or load a quick-save from the pause menu.

Speaking of quick-saves, I have to admit that the game isn’t a pure puzzler; movement is pixel-based rather than unit-based (although limitations on movement are unit-based, as mentioned previously), and this knowledge is crucial for solving quite a few puzzles, even though there are no moving hazards. There will be quite a few times where you’ll have to get dangerously close to a pitfall so you can, say, jump up into the vertical shaft above it, but even if those parts give you trouble (especially when combined with the game’s challenging puzzles, which can be a bit lengthy even when you know the solution), you can always use the in-game save-states mentioned previously, so dying will put you right back to your last save-state (though you can only hold one at a time, and it resets if you exit the level).

With all that said, the game has one major flaw that even I can’t reconcile. Imagine you’re playing the game, and you think you’ve solved the puzzle, so you’re putting your solution into motion, when suddenly, you reach what was to be a crucial block or ink jar in your plan…

I see nothing wrong here...wait a minute...

…you step right next to it, and you see…

OH NO....

…the eyes….

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Yup, that last of the object types I didn’t mention earlier are doppelgangers. They’re affected by gravity and block your movement just like rocks, but unlike rocks, they can’t be absorbed, merely moving forward two units when you try (unless there’s a wall there, at which point they just stay where they are). Oh, and there’s also the little detail that THEY ONLY EXIST TO BE RED HERRINGS! Sure, there’s a few times where they’re part of a puzzle’s solution, but if they weren’t intentionally designed to screw players over, most of them wouldn’t be surrounded by solid tiles like the red ink jar above, and more importantly, they would be given a unique sprite. Oh, and they can screw with your color radar as well; even if the only blue ink jar is a doppelganger, your color radar still tells you there’s a blue ink jar in the level. The only way you can tell what they are before getting next to them are two additional black hyphens that you won’t even notice if you’re not paying close attention (try to find them in that first screenshot). There are a few levels where other objects are used as red herrings, but at least with them, you can think about it a bit to figure out you won’t need them (“sure, I could hit the color switch to get blue ink, but if I’m in range of the color switch in the first place, I can just get the rainbow crystal and beat the level”). This game was SO CLOSE to being literally perfect, and then those things had to show up. It’s tragic, really.

So, there you have it. At worst, this game only has three flaws (inconsistent difficulty curve, one unintuitive level if you count the language barrier, and the doppelgangers). ONLY three flaws, and they aren’t even that big of a deal (besides the language barrier, maybe). Sometimes, a game will have so many flaws that I’ll forget to mention some in favor of the more egregious ones, but for this game, I’ve mentioned all of its worst qualities, so you should be able to figure out if it’s worth getting for yourself or not.

Overall, if you consider yourself a fan of puzzle games, I highly recommend this game. I would even go as far as to say you owe it to yourself to play this game, but I don’t know you. Seriously, aside from the three issues mentioned previously, it does everything right. Also, if you play it and you don’t like it, I would honestly like to know why; that statement isn’t rhetorical or anything.

Game of the Year 1997

Pietruszek

Hmm, after reading your whole post I checked your Steam account to see what good “placement-based” PC puzzle games have you played besides Toki Tori, because I wanted you to compare Sutte Hakkun to some other title I know. But even though I know quite a lot of them (which is not equal to playing a lot - most of them are still in my backlog or wishlist) I was surprised I didn’t really find any satisfying option on your played games list. Oh well, maybe next time ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

devonrv

(Sorry for the late reply; I just saw this comment)

I was surprised I didn’t really find any satisfying option on your played games list.

Yeah, it’s surprisingly difficult (for me, at least) to figure out what kind of “puzzles” a puzzle game has, and as a result, I haven’t had much luck finding the kind of puzzle games I like on Steam (though that was also because I didn’t really figure out what to look for until recently). “Oh, Antichamber has positive reviews; maybe it’s good?” Nope; it’s riddle-based. “Everyone says Portal 1 is perfect, and the negative reviews don’t seem to bring up anything…at all, really. Surely this one will be good!” Nope; hidden object game. “Oh, Toki Tori has a sequel? That was a game I liked, so this one HAS to be a safe bet!” Not really; while some of the game does rely on using what you know to progress, a decent chunk is more about finding the part of the game where it all-but-shows you what you need to do, so you can never really be sure if you even know everything you need to know to solve the puzzle in the first place (and if another BLAEO member is to be believed, at least one screen forces you to rely on sounds alone, which the rest of the (main) game never does, so that’s more of a riddle-based puzzle).

To be honest, I’m starting to suspect people just don’t make these kind of puzzle games anymore (with the majority of “new” ones I’ve seen being “minimalist” blatant copies/possible asset flips). If you think about it, early games like Sutte Hakkun, Toki Tori 1, and Prince Yeh Rude had to work with limited storage space, meaning there wasn’t much room for many NPCs, so level design had to take focus. Now, on the other hand, games are regularly 10GB+, so if devs want to have a one-time riddle that doesn’t build on or to anything, they totally can, and they can do that however many times they want…actually, Prince Yeh Rude had four of those, so that may not be my best comparison. Still, these types of puzzles do seem rarer nowadays for some reason.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, “maybe YOU should let ME know if there are any good placement-based puzzle games on Steam.” ☺ Your suggestions could also help me figure out how good a job I did at explaining my opinions.

I wanted you to compare Sutte Hakkun to some other title I know.

Um…Snakebird, maybe? I played the demo for it on iOS, and it seems like it could be pretty good (although it’s more about placing yourself, i.e. the snakes, rather than placing external items (and it’s unit-based), but the core genre seems to be the same).

If you want a comparison because you’re unsure about what separates my puzzle genre definitions, the best way I can think to explain the placement-based puzzle genre is “if you know exactly what everything does (snakes move in cardinal directions and are affected by gravity, but can’t reverse or move through blocks VERSUS you can carry one object at a time, blocks aren’t affected by gravity, and ink changes how vessels act) and exactly how everything can be used (a snake can form a bridge or stairs for other snakes, etc. VERSUS blocks can move through solid tiles, so they can be used as platforms or stored in a wall for later use, e.g. if you can’t get a block to the other side normally), as well as easily being able to see everything you can work with for the puzzle (e.g. a way to pan the camera around the entire level/puzzle instead of just around your character, or if the whole puzzle fits on one screen), then it’s placement-based, and if the puzzles are still hard to solve despite all of that, then it’s a good puzzle game.” Was that a good comparison?

EDIT: Now that I think about it, “versus” probably wasn’t the best word to use since I’m trying to spotlight the similarities between the two games, but hopefully, you get the idea.

Though I will say, Toki Tori 1 plays closer to how Sutte Hakkun does; you just can’t pick items back up or put blocks inside walls (and each item does its own thing rather than changing behavior when combined with another item). I don’t know what your plan for your backlog is, but Toki Tori 1 is a game I recommend playing, especially since you already own it. Plus, I heard that the WiiWare/PC remake has more gimmicks levels than the GBC version (and apparently, it also removed the time limits, so it’s automatically the definitive version if that’s true).

Pietruszek

Before starting to write this, I scrolled through your profile page and checked a few of the reviews where you criticized games I love. Now I’m kinda scared to recommend you anything since I’m nowhere as critical as you towards video games and probably won’t understand your point of view that well xD

Um…Snakebird, maybe?

I waited so long with making this response since I was actually in the middle of playing Snakebird and wanted to finish it first ;)

Personally I think that Snakebird is a perfect puzzle game and besides some weird resolution problem I had when I first run the game there isn’t a single thing I’d really want to change in it. Having said that… I’m not sure if it matches your list of specific criteria. In this game you definitely don’t know everything that’s possible to do from the start. Learning to understand the physics of the main characters takes time and you start to fully utilize what the characters can do maybe halfway through its 50 level campaign. The map is not linear and always allows you to choose between 2-5 levels as your next ones. This is actually important because sometimes you start a level, see something like this:
image
and think: “WTF?! Are you drunk devs? It’s impossible to collect that banana and get ALL of the snakebirds back to the portal on the left! Why do you put an unsolvable level in your game?!!!” Theoretically you could beat this level when you first reach it, but it’s HARD. What I did is that I skipped it, went into another direction on the level map and a few levels later I came across a level where I only had two very short snakes at my disposal (which is a big restriction to your movement possibilities) but the solution required exploring and understanding the same mechanic. But because of those limited movement possibilities, here it was much easier to come up with (or accidentally encounter when moving around) what you had to do.

So in other words, using your “list of puzzle game types” Snakebird is definitely closest to the placement-based type, but it’s absolutely not free of “Wait, you can do that? :O” moments. I still recommend it wholeheartedly, but I won’t be surprised if the last paragraph of your Snakebird review of starts with “Overall, this game is okay.”.

To be honest, I’m starting to suspect people just don’t make these kind of puzzle games anymore (with the majority of “new” ones I’ve seen being “minimalist” blatant copies/possible asset flips). If you think about it, early games like Sutte Hakkun, Toki Tori 1, and Prince Yeh Rude had to work with limited storage space, meaning there wasn’t much room for many NPCs, so level design had to take focus. Now, on the other hand, games are regularly 10GB+, so if devs want to have a one-time riddle that doesn’t build on or to anything, they totally can, and they can do that however many times they want…actually, Prince Yeh Rude had four of those, so that may not be my best comparison. Still, these types of puzzles do seem rarer nowadays for some reason.

These games may be much more rare these days, but they definitely still exist. Personally, I think they are just harder to find since they are not what appeals to the wide audience which gives much more love (and money) to titles like Portal 2, The Talos Principle and others (link to a list of most popular Steam games with the “Puzzle” tag - you won’t find there a single “good placement-based puzzle game” that you seek for (maybe besides Into the Breach, but it’s more of a turned based strategy game than just puzzle)).

I guess what I’m trying to say is, “maybe YOU should let ME know if there are any good placement-based puzzle games on Steam.” ☺ Your suggestions could also help me figure out how good a job I did at explaining my opinions.

As I already said in my previous comment, most of placement-based puzzle games I know from Steam are still either in my backlog or wishlist. However, I always do quite a bit of research before adding a game to any of these. For example Antichamber and Toki Tori 2 are still in my backlog, but I know what can I expect from them. If you didn’t play them yet, I’d know I shouldn’t recommend them to you since they are obviously not placement-based puzzle games. I also know I do like the type of game they’re and I’m already quite sure that I’ll really like playing both. But even though I know more about my backlogged or wishlisted games than an average person who buys them impulsively, I still haven’t played them and don’t know what are their possible drawbacks. Due to this I usually avoid recommending these games to other people, especially if they have requirements as specific as you ;)

Having said that, I picked 4 games which in my opinion have the highest chance (out of the many Steam titles I know) of being what you seek for. I have no way to guarantee that, but I think each of them is at least worth trying out. Even if you decide to play any of these and you don’t like some of their aspects, maybe your thoughts on them will lead me towards other recommendations which end up matching your taste better? ;)

Snakebird
Stephen’s Sausage Roll
A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build
Sokobond

PS Whew, that was an exhausting comment to write. I’m not a native speaker and writing such things always takes me quite a lot of time and effort, so don’t expect quick responses from me ;D

devonrv

Hey, thanks for responding. I had actually never heard of that snowman game before. When if I get my backlog down, I’ll try to check those games out.

Learning to understand the physics of the main characters
physics

Whoa whoa, hold up. This game has physics?? (i.e. non-unit-based movement) And different ones for different snakes at that? The impression I got from the demo was that all snakes were exactly the same (besides length, of course): they move forward one unit at a time, fall down if their lowest point is not on top of a solid tile, and grow a unit when collecting fruit (so going over a ledge to get one wouldn’t kill you). Honestly, based on that info alone, the level in your screenshot seems entirely doable (though I know that looking at a level and actually solving it are two very different things). In fact, that’s why I like placement-based puzzle games so much: even when the solution isn’t immediately obvious (and especially if it takes a long time for you to figure out the solution), you can rest assured that the solution involves working with what you already know rather than having to deal with some arbitrary riddle that won’t even be built upon.

If Snakebird has other mechanics besides the ones I listed (especially ones that are crucial in solving puzzles), can you go into detail about that for me? I’m not talking about gameplay tricks like “arrange the first snake in this shape so that you can get the second snake to face left instead of right while forming the stairs”; I mean fully-fledged new mechanics and abilities, like “the red snake can breathe fire” or something. If it’s just the three points I mentioned, I disagree on your assessment that the “physics” take time to get used to.

Pietruszek

The impression I got from the demo was that all snakes were exactly the same (besides length, of course): they move forward one unit at a time, fall down if their lowest point is not on top of a solid tile, and grow a unit when collecting fruit (so going over a ledge to get one wouldn’t kill you).

There are some other mechanics introduced later in the game (like moveable objects of various shapes and sizes), but your impression is correct. Characters are no different besides their length. It’s just a matter of wording: using the vocabulary you now introduced I’d say that in Snakebird you understand the character physics from the start, but spend the whole game on learning various “gameplay tricks” (some of which work only with characters which are long/short enough) and that learning some “gameplay tricks” is easier in some levels than in others, so that’s why it’s sometimes a good idea to skip some levels, learn “gameplay tricks” somewhere else and then go back.

devonrv

Ah, okay. In that case, the game definitely sounds right up my alley. Thanks again!

Deleted

This comment was deleted 7 months ago.