With Crayon Physics Deluxe getting a release today, I’ve just sat and played my way through. It’s time for the ‘Independently Speaking Independent Opinion’. Hmm. I’m not sure if that name will stick.
Initial reactions were good. The game started off slowly, teaching the basics and the occasional smile was released. The first 15 or so levels were a breeze, usually a simple case of drawing one or two objects in obvious places to get that ball a-rolling starwards. Exactly how you’d expect the game to begin.
Round about the level 16 mark, things start to become a bit more interesting. While gawping has occurred for the last 15 puzzles, the next 15 see the true puzzles enter. Strokes of genius happen before your eyes and the sheer awe emanating from your brain goes from strength to strength.
All this while, the Braid-esque music is soothing enough to make every puzzle acquired feel like a breath of fresh air. Situations which one second seem difficult, the next become blantantly obvious and a gold star is your reward for using your head.
The graphics style, too, is a sight to behold. It just looks fantastic – it’s no high-budget venture, but the look just fits the gameplay so well.
Now… while this is all very well, quite soon it become apparently that, as brilliant as this game feels, looks and sounds, it isn’t going to be lasting very long… as 20 minutes in, you’ve collected 20 of the 80 stars up for grabs. No matter, as you’d presume the gameplay will become increasingly difficult and, therefore, last longer.
But that’s the thing – CPD never really gets difficult. By the time half the game has flown by, the puzzles haven’t really changed that much. The scenery changes, yes, but the actual basics for getting said ball to said star can be applied to almost every level, bar a handful.
While levels 1 – 30 were ‘strokes of genius’, levels 30 onwards are ‘strokes of genius reloaded’. Not that this is a bad thing. – it’s still great fun to play and watch. However when three-quarters of the game has flown by and you realise you haven’t really been troubled a single time… the sense of ‘rinse and repeat’ becomes a little less tolerable.
It must be said, however, that I was fully captivated by it all up until level 72 and then I decided to call it a night, which suggests that while it may be a tad on the easy side, it’s still a ton of fun. Yet the ‘bigger picture’ is still to be discussed – is 2 to 3 hours of gameplay worth $20 of your live savings?
The short answer is yes. Crayon Physics Deluxe is a unique, one-of-a-kind experience, something never really seen attempted before, which was enjoyable every step of the way. The way in which it is presented is delightful and the gameplay itself is at times downright genius. Hmm… maybe that was the long answer.
It any case, with a level editor now at the disposal of many creative hands, the barrage of custom levels which surely will burst forth into the CPD Playground for download will pay for the game on their own. And, as has been shown only recently, it’s usually the creations of fans that outweight the official works of art.
Crayon Physics Deluxe is worth your time, money and/or creativity (depending on if you have any or not). Give the crayon a whirl and let it put a smile on your face.
Verdict: While someone forgot to colour round the edges, it’s still a beautiful work of expertise and craftmanship.