Game #12: And Yet It Moves (2009)

by: Broken Rules
finished on: 11 September

And Yet It Moves is a strange platformer game that is the third game that I’ve finished from the Humble Bundle. As if to make a theme with VVVVVV, its principal gimmick is gravity manipulation, although unlike VVVVVV, it’s technically the entire playfield that moves (your choice of gravity affects other falling objects), rather than the character, and you can fall in any of four directions, rather than just up or down. And you can jump, unlike VVVVVV.

The game has a rather unique aesthetic, with objects on the screen that look like they’ve been torn out of pieces of paper. Soundwise, it’s constantly throwing strange and intriguing noises at you, tempting you to go deeper. It has three distinct “worlds”, with about 5 levels each, so it’s not very long overall (it’s artificially padded with achievements for any replay value that it has).

There’s a considerable variety of different game ideas that are used throughout, particularly in the third world, which is the most colourful and varied, where things start disappearing under your feet and there are sections with a heavy bass beat where you jump from platform to platform before they disappear. Most of the game feels fresh, but as it’s so short, it also feels like there’s so much more that they could have done with it.

The controls were a little bit annoying to begin with, however, and I had to change them around: essentially, you use the WASD keys to move your character and the arrow keys to move the world, a rather neat setup, but the arrow keys by default are set to rotate the world in the direction of the arrow rather than your character. I simply couldn’t get my head round this kind of non-player-centric control, and I eventually had to invert the left-right axis, which ended up working a lot better for me as I was now controlling what direction the player would rotate.

It’s also difficult to learn how not to die in this game. Fortunately, death doesn’t cost anything, and all that happens is that you go back to the previous checkpoint, but the slightest thing can have your character flying apart with a ‘tschuf’ sound, which starts to grate a little bit after a while. You retain momentum when rotating, for one thing, so you will continue to fall faster and faster, and if you land while falling too fast, you will die – unless you land on a very steep slope or something (never quite got my head around that particular mechanic, to be honest). And then there’s the fact that most other obstacles can kill you at the drop of a hat, like getting squeezed between two boulders or attacked by bees.

So all in all, I have somewhat mixed feelings about it; it’s a good game by all means, but it gets annoying after a while when you keep dying, and the weird noises can get a bit much after a similar amount of time. But it was quite fun, and a relaxing platform experience – especially after playing VVVVVV!

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