It’s been a while since I’ve played an engaging and enjoyable puzzle game that was set to deliver new dynamics. In fact, the last game that relied so heavily on puzzle elements was Portal 2, and since then I haven’t been too impressed with what has been on offer. Another series I quite enjoyed was Super Mario Galaxy, with the concept of exploring miniature worlds in a vast galaxy with all the depth of any Mario game shrunken down. I mention this because there was a game recommend to me that combined the style of Mario Galaxy and the mind bending puzzles of games like Portal! I couldn’t believe it! I was thrilled to hear about Six Sides of the World and was highly eager to try out. But would my love of puzzles and small planets be fulfilled? Or should I just play Super Mario Galaxy and Portal at the same time instead?
From the get go you can see the influence of Super Mario Galaxy within Six Sides of the World (I’ll shorten it to SSOTW for reading’s sake), and the quirky and cute nature is also there. You play as a neat little robot that’s on a valiant quest to solve puzzles on various non organic, square planets in a bid– to get home? Well, to tell the truth, there really isn’t a story and to be fair, it doesn’t matter. You can make up your own story. Mine was that the little robot was once a galactic queen who’d been transformed into a little robot by an evil Space Donald Trump, and collecting Liberal gems would help turn her back into a Queen and destroy the crazy, cheerleading loving super-tyrant.
Well, putting that aside, the main focus is the puzzle gameplay and there is plenty here to enjoy. SSOTW works as a point and click adventure where the little Robot, who we’ll call Hillary, navigates across these huge square planets in order to open portals to the next world. On these planets are various puzzles, death traps, and mind binding physics that I’m sure will disorientate many. As you progress through the game you’ll unlock new paths to different worlds, such as secret stages with themes based on famous TV shows, and bonus stages that take on new perspectives which introduce new challenges for Hillary. Whether it’s collecting gems that open portals or blowing up planet sized boxes, you’ll be offered a host of tasks that require effective brain power.
The game introduces a surprisingly immense variation of challenges that never become too complex to frustrate, nor do they ever get dull or stale. As you progress, new features are added, modified, and the scale grows, multiplying the amount of planets to explore while the style and shape of these tiny worlds also change. The game certainly keeps things fresh for a long duration and does a darn good job at bringing in new elements to further the challenge. There is certainly room to enhance the gameplay for future installments such as multiplayer, or physics that can make the puzzles feel a little more organic and dynamic. Everything about SSOTW is pretty good, but for the most part it never really takes a chance or attempts anything daring for a puzzle game.
SSOTW is simple in design yet complexly brilliant as the stakes always change in small ways. The only thing to note is that the game can be a slight pain when the levels become bigger, resulting in navigation becoming be a chore. Yet there are factors to help with this, such as colour coordinated portals, and being able to freely rotate the screen around the planet you’re on helps to reduce confusion. SSOTW can be a rather enjoyable experience whether you’re playing for ten minutes or over an hour. There’s a great deal to accomplish, and the game is highly rewarding. Not to mention it’s lovely to look at with a pretty sweet soundtrack to match, offering a haunting yet energetic Sci-fi Vibe as background music.
There’s something about this neat little indie title that has captured my interest in puzzle orientated gameplay. Whether it is the colourful visuals, gleeful soundtrack, or engaging puzzle components that get the gears in your brain rotating, you’ll find something to like in this mind bending adventure. I can’t really say anything bad about it; There isn’t a major story to grasp and no form of actual conflict with murderous NPCs, but it doesn’t need to
Six Sides of the World is simple yet highly enjoyable for both young and old. There was room to innovate with more interactive puzzles or the inclusion of more dynamic elements like physics, but even at a simple level of design SSOTW is still highly enjoyable. This may not be for everyone, but for those with a brain who enjoy puzzles this is definitely worth checking out.
A PC copy of Six Sides of the World was provided by Cybernetik Design for the purpose of this review