Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

25Jan/220

Puzzleworks, 7: Understand

The Witness does not explain how the puzzle panels are solved.

Instead, it offers a few easily-solved tutorial puzzles from which you can reverse engineer the rules. Sometimes it even makes sense to backtrack a little and test out your rule theories. Puzzles need rules. But, first, the rules themselves are the puzzle.

Now imagine a puzzle game that is just that: have you played Understand (Artless Games, 2020)?

Nutshell: Hard but addictive, replete with punch-the-air moments of victory.

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17Jan/227

No Hill To Die On

This is the fourth part of a five-part series on INFRA. The previous parts were Optical Delusion, The Abandoned Church and Fractures.

There’s one key section in late INFRA that attracts a lot of praise. It’s another puzzle-strewn location that Mark gets stuck in and, yet again, has to go to silly lengths to escape.

But this is a very different INFRA to the one you have known. It’s not about crumbling infrastructure but an excursion to surreal country.

Welcome to Turnip Hill.

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5Jan/2217

Discussion: A Year in Play

Forget December, December is old news. The January newsletter has manifested (sign up if you want to read it):

But there’s nothing wrong with an honest “my year in games” and so here we are: my 2021 in games.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.

9Dec/210

Puzzleworks, 6: The Confounding Calendar

Corey Hardt and beekie18 have organised The Confounding Calendar, a digital advent calendar that delivers a small puzzle every day until the 25th.

Most of the puzzles, so far, are Puzzlescript creations. I’ve tried all of them, solved some, abandoned others. My favourites are…

Nutshell: Selection of mainly shortform Puzzlescript puzzles: some easy, some hard, some ragequittable. Worth a gander.

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6Dec/215

Transmission: The Bonfire Peaks Sessions

Over the last month, I made the foolish attempt to take on difficult Bonfire Peaks (Corey Martin, 2021) puzzles, live on Twitch. All three sessions are now available as a single video on YouTube. There is a lot of failure and thrashing around. But there is also some success, including the end of the game.

My Twitch channel can be found at twitch.tv/electrondance. Previous Transmissions are available on the dedicated E/TX YouTube channel.

2Dec/216

Crashbook #4

I have a list of games.

It is a list of games that I have not played. There is no guarantee that I will ever play these games. There is no guarantee any of these games are good. But maybe someone else will play them. Maybe someone else will discover they are good.

In this episode, 16 more games are added to the Crashbook.

44/ Spaceflux

Spaceflux is the one and only fractal FPS! The surreal online and split-screen shooter where the map contains itself. Experience arena deathmatches like never before in fractal worlds, infinitely repeating landscapes and fully destructible maps.

Crash notes: A bit like HyperRogue: FPS Edition. But also not.

Windows | Steam Link | Early Access

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30Nov/2117

Discussion: The Gravity of Reality

The November newsletter has whoooooshed into existence (sign up if you want to read it):

I imagine if you play as God intended, this isn’t a problem, but if you’re a rookie spacemarble pilot like myself who struggles to ride the bladed edge of the game’s physics, it’s a total crapshoot.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.

24Nov/217

Fractures

This is the third part of a five-part series on INFRA. The previous parts were Optical Delusion and The Abandoned Church.

INFRA was a game I misunderstood. I had fallen in love with the dream of a game I imagined INFRA to be... and then ignored the unsettling creaking coming from the foundations.

Initially, it was harmless design choices that were easy to dismiss out of hand. NPCs appropriated as an impassable barrier. An elevator which conveniently fails. An unimportant notice to go along with an important one. The endless rows of binders marked “useless stuff”, “nothing” and “random stuff”.

I was confident that INFRA was a serious game and held fast to this conviction for most of its playtime. I find this strange. Because of the mushrooms, man. The bloody mushrooms. Creak.

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17Nov/2121

Puzzleworks, 5: Tres Undos

Tres Undos (Knexator, 2021) is a short 17-level puzzle game which is played in a browser. It’s a blockpusher whose undo is afflicted with some... cursed magic. Think of those Braid (Number None, 2009) levels where you could turn back time to undo but effects on green objects could not be fixed. Think of those Recursed (Portponky, 2016) levels where green objects maintained their state despite every time you jumped into a chest, everything inside was reset.

There are no green objects in Tres Undos. But there are yellow and red ones.

It’s a blisteringly hard puzzler which I described on Twitter as “a sequence of hate crimes against your brain”, especially as you need to figure out its strange rules as you progress. I’m going to spoil the beans below so, if you want to jump in fresh, go play it now. I will leave you one important tip - the weird-looking square block on the fourth level is just a wall.

Nutshell: Vicious, non-intuitive blockpusher but satisfying if your sort of thing.

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10Nov/214

A Walking Simulator With Guns

Last month I played through Industria (Bleakmill, 2021), a most curious first-person shooter. Developed over several years, a brief glance suggests an homage to the Half-Life series with glossy to-die-for production values.

Yet it twists and squirms against this blueprint: it doesn’t want to be just another gun game.

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