And Yet It Moves

Is there any need to think of a better title than that? It’s time for Humble Bundle Review #4, And Yet It Moves by indie developer Broken Rules.

And Yet It Moves Review
And yet it moves is a platformer, and occasional puzzle game based around a simple, tired concept: manipulating gravity. Nevertheless, its done rather well, if a little clumsily, and walking around platforms or making impossible jumps is fun during the early stages.

This game has no title screen - you'll have to make do with a screenshot of the menu instead.

In And Yet It Moves you complete otherwise impossible levels by rotating the screen to one of four ninety-degree intervals. Gravity is always towards the bottom of your screen, and your character retains his momentum when you rotate the screen, so you need to be careful of your velocity when contacting the ground and other objects, or you’ll go splat. You can use this mechanic to walk around the sides and bottoms of platforms, and to manipulate other objects such as rocks, branches, and swinging platforms. Although falling too quickly is your main obstacle, there are other things to be wary of, such as fire, torn edges of the world, getting crushed between moving platforms, and various critters (DEMON HAMSTER). Any hazard will only return you to the last (creepy) checkpoint you passed, and you have no lives, so it’s not a huge loss.

Animals and other puzzles usually require you to rotate the world in such a way that an object or other critters make their way to a certain point. You can feed a monkey bananas, or make him throw faeces at himself. These help to add some diversity and break up the platforming stages of the game.

Tutorial notes are pinned to the early worlds.

The game’s graphics consist of various photographs, textures, and drawings with ripped edges, collaged together, and arranged in 3D space. Though the game is 2D, this helps to give some depth and life to the environment, even if it remains rather bleak and uninteresting for the most part. The 3D is actually utilised for some interesting effects in the late stages of the game.

Sounds effects seem to have been created by recording and manipulating the human voice – and that includes the music. This was a very creative move, and one I have mixed feelings about. At times I found the music to be really annoying, but at others, when sound was usedin a  more ambient manner – for cooing monkeys afar, and rustling branches among the treetops – I found it to be very eerie and atmospheric.

Run Indie, run! (no pun intended)

The first world, the cave one, ended quite soon after the game began, and this seemed to indicate to me that worlds would be short and varied. However, the second world, the forest, really dragged for me, and for a long while no new obstacles or mechanics were introduced. Animals provided a break from the monotony on occasion, and I met endless frustration using bamboo springboards and swinging platforms, but that didn’t stop me getting bored with the game. Thankfully I persevered, and the games really picks up at the end of the forest – I just wonder why they didn’t do this sooner.

Just chilling on the side of a tree, bored.

First there’s the fire. I’d really like to have seen this sooner. Fire is such an elemental obstacle, especially once you’ve gotten used to the fact that the world you’re in is paper, and it really helped to brighten the game up for a few stages. Sadly, it’s not in the game for very long.

Oh dear...

Next comes the real twist. I’m going to be childish and assume that Broken Rules began to indulge in substance abuse at this point, because the game really goes off the rails from here on out. You don’t want spoilers? I’ll try to be good, but don’t read on if you don’t want to.

While climbing a tree near the end of chapter 2, you’re bitten by a rather ugly snake, and there is a simultaneous flash of lighting, inverting all colour temporarily and sending a whispering crack of thunder echoing through the forest. The thunder sound effect is a real triumph, and coupled with what happens next it can very be unnerving.

Terrifying.

As a result of the poison you begin to see things in a new light. In the coming stages the world begins to move about of its own will: Vines reach for you like arms, platforms come and go with your rotations of the world, trees and rocks acquire faces and gaze angrily at your avatar. The whole thing’s a mess, and it’s fairly creepy in the beginning. Then it gets even madder – and I’m definitely not going to spoil that for you.

Anyhow, at some point between the fire and the snake bite, And Yet It Moves became a much more interesting game. I honestly think the snake bite should have been the basis of the entire thing. The game between the cave and that is nought but filler, and I would not have reviewed this game positively had I burnt out and stopped playing before the fire.

It’s not even just the atmosphere – new mechanics are introduced during your poison-fueled hallucinations. Lots of new mechanics. I wasn’t expecting rhythm based mechanics, and I wasn’t expecting to see – no, find out for yourself.

If you can endure the grueling trek through the forest, the later stages of And Yet It Moves are well worth seeing, if rather short-lived.

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