Triple Whammy (Grapple, LYNE, and Qbeh-1)

Besides the ever-present Skyrim, I’ve not been playing all that much else in the way of gaming besides a smattering of smaller titles. There are three titles, however, which have caught my attention this week and I feel are deserving of a blog post!

 

The first is Grapple. You’re this groovy little blob and it is your absolute imperative to get from one side of the level to the other, ever-fearful of the spacial abyss which looms below you should you make a mistake, falling just too far of the platform which you yearn to reach. You are also the enemy of everything red, so don’t go touching that. You stick to everything like a Tory sticks to their outdated ideals (weyyy forced political joke). There are collectibles, multiple game modes (such as time trials and speed runs), and the physics engine is pretty darn gravy.

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…that was a close one!

I’m currently about a quarter of the way through the game and I find that there’s just enough challenge for my liking. I can become infuriated, but my rage is the quickly quenched by the following success. The levels are the perfect length, swinging is fun, collectibles are plentiful and hidden in a way that makes them missable, but not so much if you’re actively looking for them. It’s just fun, really. Oh, and it has a good soundtrack, too.

LYNE is marketed as a “deceptively simple” game, and I certainly wouldn’t disagree. All you have to do is match the shapes together and pass their lines through the octagons as many times as the octagons dictate necessary. I find that whenever I’m confronted with a level, I cry, “Simple! This one is simple!” And then I end up with a tangled mess like you see below:

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Just looking at it makes me want to solve it. Bleurgh.

There is a seemingly unending quantity of levels available. The base game is split up into sections of the alphabet, which have so far contained 25 levels each. However, the game also offers you procedurally generated batches of daily puzzles. It’s like having a big ol’ book of crossword puzzles, only the book has new puzzles at the back every day and instead of a crossword you’re looking at what should be a simply solved collection of shapes which stop you in your tracks.

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I tried to take a screenshot of me solving the puzzle, but I didn’t account for the bottom octagon. Blast!

Last but most definitely not least comes Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube. This is the most incredibly beautiful puzzle platformer I’ve ever set eyes upon. It’s a weird cross between Q.U.B.E, Antichamber (the block-related parts, not the mind-bending geography) and community created Minecraft puzzle maps. The world is made of blocks, but you can only pick up a certain type of block and place it on a certain type of surface. When a block is place on a surface, you can then attach another block to it. Some blocks work as keys, others as gravity modifiers, but the red one you can just about see in the image below simply exists to be placed.

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Screenshots alone don’t really do it justice, but this should give you a general idea of the game’s atmosphere. Or at least, one of its worlds.

The game also comes with a level creator and Steam workshop integration, so you can build your own maps and share ’em. I’ve not done so yet, and probably won’t until I’ve beaten the game and gotten tired of scouring through the levels for collectibles. The collectibles usually entail finding out how to get to a secret section of the map, and then completing a few extra puzzles to reach it. It is plenty fun and challenging!

So, that’s what I’ve been playing this week. It’s worth noting that LYNE and Qbeh-1 are currently 99p and 69p, respectively, in the Humble Store winter sale. I’m no advertiser but that’s where I found these games, and I personally recommend them a lot.

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