And Yet It Moves

Another update and suddenly And Yet It Moves is working for me. This is a 2D puzzle-platformer that, like, Braid, is based around building puzzles around one unusual ability. In Braid, it was control of time. Here it’s control of gravity — or, equivalently, the ability to rotate the entire world. I’m told that there have been other games since that explore this idea more thoroughly — including things where you can rotate the world freely by any angle, instead of just in 90-degree increments as is the case here. There’s a whole mini-genre, apparently. There are also antecedents, like the Shift series, which lets you simultaneously flip the world upside-down and reverse figure and ground.

The one thing that really distinguishes AYIM from the likes of Shift is that your rotations affect more than just the player avatar. Boulders tumble from their now-horizontal holes, falling water drops do sharp mid-air turns, bats are dislodged form their perches and fly up to the new ceiling. There are bits where the focus is entirely on making some inanimate object fall the right way, although you still have to make sure that the avatar doesn’t fall too far and die in the process. Still, the most-repeated material is all about gravity-control-enhanced navigation: jumping off a cliff and then quickly turning the cliff wall into a floor, for example, or extending the length of your leap by falling part of the way.

I’m a bit disappointed about how little of the levels I can see at once. Surely the re-orienting of the world would be more impressive if I could see the world? But then, there may not be much of a coherent world to see, the levels being patched together out of bits that only make sense locally. Certainly they’ve picked a graphical style that suits such a design. This is a world of collage, made of ragged scraps torn from photographs. The really interesting thing is that the pictures in the scraps sometimes waver relative to their frames, or lag behind their movement a little, suggesting that the scraps are windows, or pieces torn out of windows.

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