Posted on September 14, 2013 AT 03:00pm
BFIG -a.k.a. Boston Festival of Indie Games- is probably one of the more fun shows of the year that I get to attend. Why? Because every single game being shown at the 1 day event is the vision, passion, and life’s blood of an independent game studio.
Don’t get me wrong, I love big, “AAA” titles, but my heart belongs to indies.The indie game development scene embodies the things I love most about the video game industry – a rich and vehemently inclusive community, a culture of support and respect of creativity.
I dig indies. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me introduce you to Monocle.
Monocle is a deceptively fun 2D puzzle platforming game. The story is very simple: you are a posh gentleman, who has lost your umbrella. You must traverse the level to get to your umbrella and exit the level. The mechanic seems simple enough: using two buttons and an analog stick, manifest and manipulate blocks to help you reach the exit. Now the catch: You are timed based on how fast you make it to the exit, have different color blocks that you can drop into the level and move around to help you reach the exit, but are limited to the number of same-colored blocks that can exist in the world at a time. Ah physics, you hurt my brain so good.
I was only able to play the game for a short time (a really adorable little kid kept eyeing my seat, so I gave it up to him pretty quickly) and ended up watching a lot of people jumping in and enjoying the game.
Like most games, the first level is very simple. It teaches you how to identify where color blocks are going to appear from, and the basics of how to bump them over to where you need them to be in order to jump from platform to platform, and make it to your umbrella. By level 6, you are combining blocks to create platforms, dropping some blocks to open up an area that you will drop another block, then doubling-back to get that new block to place it someplace else…all in pursuit of your little black umbrella.
Monocle challenges you to creatively work your way out of the level, and while your path seems straight forward, it rarely tends to be that way. You will kick yourself each time you ever-so-slightly miss the jump to reach your umbrella because you ever-so-slightly mis-aligned your blocks and have to restart from scratch.
Playing the game gave me flashbacks of hanging out in the arcade, urging my little character on to make that jump, or hurry up and reach that platform…and that’s a great feeling to walk away with from a demo.
What warms my heart even more about this game is that it will be available on multiple systems including Mac and OUYA boxes.
Check out the game at www.MonocleGame.com.
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