Step into the light
Most games set out to ride the coattails of a proven idea in hopes of success by association, but then there’s games like Closure. An upcoming PSN title from the creators of a 2009 flash game of the same name, this powerful puzzler is a minimalist brain teaser where light if life and dark is death, but as developer Tyler Gaiel tells it, it’s way more than a simple port.
“People liked the flash version for the unique idea, but the game itself was kind of….tough.” says Gaiel. “It wasn’t the good type of difficult, it was just kind of crude. We wanted to make something more worthy of that idea.”
The team has been deep in development since their decision to hit consoles, working on a more accessible, expansive adventure for the PS3 that will feature over 100 total levels, including tutorial levels, art showcases and some much-needed “break” levels that will help convey the game’s story.
The puzzles themselves are the heart of the game, and essentially focus on four unique characters who must make use of limited light sources to reveal a path through the game’s 70+ puzzle rooms. Some can be carried, and others set in fixed locations throughout the level, allowing gamers to adjust their path as needed to help uncover the proper path. If the light fails, you fall through the world and die.
A pretty simple concept, really, but one that allows for all sorts of trickery on the design front, and we couldn’t help but be reminded of the age old riddle involving a chicken, a fox and a bad of chicken feed as we carried light back and forth, trying to get enough orbs across the landscape without screwing things up, and the trial and error involved is extremely reminiscent of games like Braid or Super Meat Boy, as you’ll meet more than your fair share of untimely demises as you traverse the darkness.
But Closure isn’t just another painful puzzler. The flash product may have been a bit hard to swallow for most gamers, but this PSN remake has a particularly rewarding sense of discovery about it, and Closure’s unique art style, subtle design and compelling characters give it a flair all its own. But will it be enough to shine some much needed light on this incendiary indie when it hits next spring? We’ll have to wait and see.
PARTING SHOT: Closure is one of the most intriguing games we’ve played in ages. Difficult, distinct and decidedly independent, this is the type of game PSN was made for and, for our part, we can’t wait to see more.