Review: Another Perspective Offers A Similar Picture
Another Perspective is another indie platformer with a quirky game mechanic and a distinctive art style. While barely revolutionary, there are still myriad games out there which you'd be worse off giving a few hours to.
- Worth The Time?Barely.
- Things LovedThe minimalist design was quite pleasant, although it added very little to the title itself. The multiple protagonist approach worked excellently, and the level design helped pull the best from the multiple character puzzle solving mechanic. A perfect difficulty curve to keep the game challenging, yet not frustrating.
- Things HatedThe pointless use of meta-commentary just comes off as poor; not misunderstood or with veiled meanings, just underdone and with very little to say. Far too short to really be worth another look, especially considering the nature of the indie puzzle platformer (amongst the millions of others).
- RecommendationMeh. If you like puzzle platformers, it's worth a look, but it's nothing revolutionary and really shouldn't stick in your mind for long.
- Name: Another Perspective
- Genre: Puzzle Platformer
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: No
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Shaun Spalding
- Publisher: Shaun Spalding
- Price: $5.99
- Reviewed On: PC
Puzzle platformers are the indie go-to game formula for success – throw in an identifiable art style and a quirky gameplay mechanic and you have an instant hit. Another Perspective is another one of these titles; albeit a particularly high quality puzzle platformer with a very well-designed set of levels.
Another Perspective puts you in the shoes of an unnamed protagonist who is searching for unknown things by walking through doors. The journey takes an unexpected turn when copies of him begin showing up – each seeing the level in question from a different perspective, and he starts to question his existence and life.
The game plays with a meta-narrative – an increasingly popular method of storytelling in indie games which attempts to explore gaming concepts through the experiences of a protagonist. Another Perspective attempts to explore the existence of characters in videogames and their lifespan, with very limited success.
The title fails to effectively explore the concept of character lifespan, and the use of a meta-narrative comes off as more of a crutch, used in lieu of an actual story, than a meaningful commentary on the existential situation of characters in games. It offers little insight of its own, and scant material on which to base formulated thoughts. It honestly feels like I wasted a couple of hours trying to dig for some deeper meaning than “KEYS!”.
Where Another Perspective does thrive, however, is in its level design and gameplay. The game starts simply enough – getting from one side of a level to the other and going through a door into the next one. Bit by bit, new challenges are added into the game – you have to retrieve a key before going to the door, bottomless pits are added to result in your potential death, and so on, contributing to a fair difficulty curve.
This steepens slightly when the concept of clones is added into the title. Players can switch between versions of themselves – who freeze in place when not in use – to assist in traversing larger gaps, and climbing to higher platforms, amongst other things.
This system also has quite a fair difficulty curve – levels start to change from different characters’ perspectives (previously existing platforms disappear, while new ones appear), characters start to spawn at different sizes and with different perceptions of gravity. This and the level design work in tandem to provide a game that is consistently challenging without being overly difficult or feeling unfair.
Even the post-ending Mystery mode, which features more difficult levels and concepts, doesn’t feel needlessly challenging. While it’s undoubtedly more difficult than the storyline, the levels always feel well-structured – even the one which requires the use of a glitch in the game to complete.
Another Perspective takes a page out of the Braid book of indie visuals. It looks remarkably familiar to Jonathan Blow’s breakout title – especially in the transitions between characters, which emulates Braid’s time dilation effects very closely.
The environments are very plain and bare, but this fits well with the game’s fairly nihilistic themes, even if they are poorly fleshed out. The barren atmosphere extends to the title’s sound performance, which is filled with minimalist sound effects and an unobtrusive background track.
There isn’t really that much more to say about the game. Another Perspective is a short (the story lasted me just over an hour, while the Mystery mode lasted around 40 minutes) and not particularly memorable experience which will undoubtedly fade from my mind quite quickly.
Another Perspective is not a bad game, but it’s yet another puzzle platformer with a single distinguishing factor and not much else. With the lack of play time through the game’s two modes, and its poorly realised themes, Another Perspective probably won’t last long in the memory – due to no fault of the game’s own other than existing in an over-saturated genre.