“Easy to learn, hard to master” is usually considered the gold standard for a casual game. The more time new players must spend, learning how systems and items work, the less casual and accessible the game is. (I love a good World of Warcraft or Icewind Dale, too, playing a game for years and still discovering new abilities for new character classes, and still finding tweaks to my customized hotkeys.) But accessible doesn’t have to mean match-three.
Continuity simply uses arrow keys to solve puzzles, in two modes. The first mode is a slider puzzle, with gentle meditative background music. In this mode, the puzzle is to build a path for your little hero to get the red key and get into the red door.
Hit spacebar to enter the second mode, a platform adventure exploring the path you just made. Again, players will use arrow keys to navigate, trying to get the key and then reach the door.The faster, more energetic music matches the jumping and running challenge.
There’s a surprising amount of variation in the 30+ levels. Later levels add extra keys, and speed-pausing puzzles, but the real growing challenge, and the real fun, comes from the interplay of the two gameplay modes. Players are building a platform game through a slider puzzle, then playtesting it, switching back to change the layout, playing again, switching back and forth to reach a goal.
Working in games, it’s hard not to play a game and think that it’s just like a popular other title with 1 vector of innovation, the common “like X but with Y” formula. In this case, I played each new level and legitimately wondered how the developers came up with it. So fun. It actually was really easy to learn the game rules, and then quite challenging to defeat the later levels.