Isometric platform puzzler. Fairly short but bursting with flavour!
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Developer: NEXT Studios
Publisher: NEXT Studios
Release date: 7 Dec, 2018
Iris.Fall has an Alice in Wonderland feel about it, except with a lot of heavy machinery. Iris, I think, is a marionette come to life and she’s chasing a black cat around the place. Of course, getting from one place to the next always involves some tricky puzzles. The main mechanic of these puzzles is switching from solid to shadow mode, which allows you to reach an item in one mode and bring it back in your inventory to use in solid mode, and vice versa. There are also several traditional logic puzzles to solve, such as a Rubik’s Cube style contraption and various placing-items-in-the-right-place puzzles, but my favourites were the ones where you have to turn stairways in 3 dimensions to get to where you want to go, while also switching between solid and shadow mode.
Sound & Vision
Let me just say that the artwork and animations in this game are absolutely gorgeous, and are probably the main attraction of the game, rather than the puzzles. It’s a hand drawn 3D environment mostly in black and white to enhance the fantastic lighting. There is use of colour here and there to highlight important items and the effect is stunning, as the shadows move across the scene and all manner of Wonderland-esque objects and characters dance around and do spooky stuff.
The music doesn’t continue throughout the game, a lot of the time you’re just listening to Iris’ footsteps and the grating of machinery as you complete the puzzles, but now and then, usually during animations, you get a chiming melody that suits the atmosphere perfectly.
Medium/casual difficulty. A good variety of different puzzles and they are all beautiful, elegant and satisfying. There’s enough challenge to make you scratch your head for a bit, but this is a game that you should be able to complete without resorting to any guides.
It can be completed in about 3 hours but the content is high quality and densely packed. There are 8 chapters that you can replay individually if you want to mop up any remaining achievements, or (more likely) if you just want to see it all again because it looks so good. In any case, I don’t think anyone would complain about paying full price.
22 achievements, about 30% of them you probably won’t get on the first playthrough, so that’s a good reason to play again. Full controller support (and I recommend playing with one). Cloud support but sadly no Linux, and it borks with Steam Play also.
Despite having to play in Windows I loved my time in the land of Iris.Fall. It’s a gallery of interactive artwork and animations with clever but not frustrating puzzles to keep you immersed. Highly recommended.