If anyone’s been following my tweets recently, you’ll notice a fair amount of the recent ones were about an awesome little web game, Continuity
This game is a combination slider puzzle, maze, and platformer. Basically you move the tiles around to arrange the space for your little guy to traverse. You can’t move between two panels if their walls (or floors or ceilings, depending which direction you’re trying to go) don’t match up. Get the keys and reach the door, pretty simple, but a very elegant game.
Continuity demonstrates something very strange that happens when you inject simple movement interaction into the main stop-and-think puzzle solving part. It does delightful things to the pacing! It’s as though the simple act of moving your little guy is a reward for how clever you are for solving which panel to put where. It also helps break up the heavy thinking in the later, more difficult puzzles – just work at finding one piece you can match up, and getting to move there is a reward. The platforming is very mild, even in the later levels, but you do eventually have to do tricky things, like jumping up into a panel, then pulling out and switching out the one you’ll fall into.
It also makes beautiful use of the music to communicate which mode you are in – puzzle slidy mode, or move-your-guy mode.
The other thing it does really well is ramp across all of its levels. Every time a new tricky mechanic is introduced, you face an extremely simple level where just that mechanic is involved, so it’s very clear you will have to use that little trick in the upcoming levels.
Lastly, I love that there is no formal instructions in the game. You figure out what you’re supposed to do and how to move by the constrictions of the first level, and then you’re all set for the rest of the game.
I beat the last level today, and of course yearn for more. I’m very curious about the process these guys used to design their puzzles – if they had a step-by-step method or if they were something more reverse engineered. Puzzle design is something I take for granted.
Anyway, I hope you try it out. Enjoy!