Monday, June 19, 2017

June 2017 Community Game-Along: Puzzle Games

So, I haven't talked about games in… oof. Wow.

In a very long time.

But, I've come back to the gaming world—mostly! I've dusted off the olde Steam account, and I've nuzzled up with all of my beloved games. I haven't had a chance to play through my library in a really long time, but I've returned just in time for a fun event.

Anne Lee over at Chic Pixel has been orchestrating a "community game-along". You can view whole schedule here! It's a monthly affair, and of course, you don't have to join. But if you do, you get to read a lot of what other people are playing and/or what they love to play. If you haven't guessed already, June is #PuzzleGameMonth. And y'all.

I. love. puzzle games.

It's absolute in my top three and five genres. I may not seem like it, but I'm pretty adept at a puzzle games, specifically 2D, brain exercise puzzles. One such game that I want to talk about with you is LYNE.

LYNE is a colourful indie puzzle game with Overwhelmingly Positive reviews on Steam. I feel it deserves it totally and completely. While the game offers no original soundtrack, it does have a few ambient noises while you play that you can turn off at will, either from the main menu or the pause menu.

There's honestly so much to talk about with this game! I don't even know where to start, ah.

The presentation is incredibly simple and visually pleasing. The entire game can be summed up as stylishly minimal. The main menu is pictured above, and this is what it looks like when you pick a set of puzzles to play. They're listed off alphabetically. Due to my limited play time, I've only made it to puzzle set T. (-coughhumblebragcoughcough-)

The A set is very much a tutorial set of puzzles, so you can understand how the puzzle solving style works. There's a very easy rhythm to follow, and thankfully, it does get more complicated as it goes on. Your main objective is to create a constellation of like shapes. In the beginning, the most complicated thing you'll have to do is to connect a two double outlined triangles. If there are other triangles on the map, you'll have to pass your line through all of them in order to complete the puzzle. In more complicated steps, you'll have hexagons that allow you to pass numerous lines through the space at once.

Sorry if that doesn't make much sense, but hey. That's what pictures are for.

This may look like nonsense now, but I guarantee that if you get to play this game, it'll all make sense in time. While there's no real "start" or "end" to a puzzle, once you start finding your personal rhythm in the game, some puzzles will make you feel as if you'll have to "work backwards" to solve them. The layout between puzzles does change and adds a nuance of variance with each thing you solve.

Aside from the satisfaction of completing puzzles, you can get some achievements and earn things in game. For example: different palettes! There's the default one, and you can unlock the others after beating a certain number of puzzles.

You can also win… secrets. If you play and beat the daily challenges, you can also get more. But I'm going to level with you. Look at this.

I have no idea what I'm looking at. Do you? If you've played the game, I just want to be assured that there's a payoff. I'm sure that if I keep playing, I'll discover the mystery myself. (Which, honestly is the fun of it all).

The daily challenges are fun. I haven't gotten more than two at a time myself (not that I recall). You're told what level of puzzles you're dealing with. If you deal with the normal sets regularly, the daily challenges might not pose much trouble for you.

Once you solve one puzzle, it glows bright white and slides to the next puzzle. There's no loading time in between puzzles. The only time it will pull you out of the game is when you complete an entire set. This is a common thread with normal puzzles and daily challenges. However, do not despair, it is possible for you to back out of a current puzzle without losing your progress.

In the upper right corner of each puzzle, there will be a triangle pointing down. If you click that, you will see the navigation screen.

From there, you can click:

• Resume to continue where you left off
• End to exit out of the current puzzle and go back to the set screen
• Turn on/off noise

Again, there's no time limit when you do puzzles, so this isn't much of a pause menu. Though, you can still click it and get that placebo effect you need if you feel particularly frustrated.

I've said a lot about LYNE, and the only thing you can do now is just go experience it for yourself. I highly recommend it.

LYNE is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux! Check out the official website. Get it on the Google Play Store, App Store, or Steam. Also, be sure to join the community game-along. Whatever you do, remember: tell 'em GDR sent ya.

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