And Yet It Moves

You wreck me, baby -- break me in two. But you move me, honey -- yes you do.

This is the story all 'bout how
my life got flipped -- turned upside down.
-- The Fresh Prince

WASD: This is how computer gamers know how to navigate virtual spaces. Sometimes I feel like we're wasting those arrow keys across the keyboard.

Newly formed Vienna-based development house Broken Rules just released And Yet It Moves on Steam, and it's a platformer that soothes my conscience. As usual, A and D move left and right, and W jumps. The left and right arrow keys, however, rotate the screen.

"Now we're getting somewhere," I thought. I tipped the landscape so that I could quickly fall to the next sketchy-man checkpoint. Except I ended up falling past him and smashing into pieces, making a crunchy noise that sounded like a very harsh whisper of "Sartre."

I'm getting better at platform games, but I struggled through the demo levels of And Yet It Moves. Your momentum continues after rotating the screen, which can lead to jumping in place and landing with enough velocity to kill yourself.

Visually, And Yet It Moves is fairly novel. It's not another "minimalist" or "lush" aesthetic, and any connection to viscera would be tenuous at best. I would call it "full," though -- and maybe even "rich," were that not such a cliche. The landscape looks as if it were built from layering ripped pieces of glossy magazine textures, and the character is sketched on bits of white. Some of the background will sway in the wind or fall with gravity in a way that's reminiscent of Little Big Planet.

Why You Should Check This Out: And Yet It Moves is a challenging platformer that's sure to keep you busy. It features a unique mechanic and an aesthetic that leaves you with a palpable sense of the game's crunchy texture. Or perhaps that's just all the dying I did.

[size=20]Demo[/size] (PC or Mac)
[size=18] (Steam)[/size]
[size=18] (Greenhouse)[/size]

Boom, shake-shake-shake the room.

Comments

There's a demo for this game now in the Wii Shop Channel. Having played a bit of both the PC and Wii versions, I have to say that I'm much more impressed with the Wii version. Partly this is due to, as hbi2k mentioned, the more granular control over the rotation of the world, but it's mainly due to the fact that the game pauses when you rotate the world.

You hold the controller on its side, NES-style, and use the 1 button to "freeze" the world. While it's frozen, you rotate the world by tilting the controller. This keeps you from making any sort of mistakes where you continually rotate the world the wrong way and build up too much momentum. You're also given an indicator of the direction your momentum will carry you when the world is unfrozen, which makes it easy to gauge just how you need the world to be rotated. This freezing makes the game easier in some respects because it places less emphasis on the player's reaction times, but I found it's the difference for me personally between a game I didn't enjoy and one I'd consider spending money on.

For those of you out there who are Wii gamers, give the demo a shot even if you disliked the PC version.