REVIEW: Four Sided Fantasy

A short, nice puzzle game where you can pause the screen and move between them. Puzzles are cleverly designed to rack your brain.

Released: Steam
Type: Single-player
Genre: Puzzle, Platformer
Developer: Ludo Land
Publisher: Serenity Forge
Release date: 30 Aug, 2016

Intro

Four Sided Fantasy is a puzzle game with platformer elements in it. It features a unique mechanic where you can pause the screen and move between them.

Visuals

The game uses simplistic visuals. Backgrounds are two-dimensional with a lack of detail, although it still gives an impact with its bright color palette and occasional lighting. The screen will also be zoomed out sometimes, putting the background as its focus. It gives a serene feeling when you look at it, especially with the perfect use of lighting at the right angle.

The Game

Gameplay

The game starts just like any other platformer games – you walk and jump to go through obstacles… until you meet a dead end. The game then introduces a mechanic where you can pause the screen, changing the mechanic into one full of wonders. In the “screen pause” mode, you can move between screens – moving to the far left of the screen will make you appear on the right side and vice versa. As you progress, you’ll notice that it works on all sides, as long as no obstacles are blocking your way.

The unique mechanic forces you to think out of the box. Manipulating the screen before pausing it will be required to solve most puzzles, whether it’s by jumping or falling down a cliff with a hazard below you. It might take some time to get used to, and once you get used to it, or still figuring out what happened, the game will spice things up by introducing new mechanics.

Guess how you can reach the boy if you can move between screens 🙂

Each of the 9 levels will revolve around one main mechanic with screen pausing as its focus. The unique mechanic does a good job to increase the variety, and I never got bored because of it. Some mechanics might be annoying to solve, although they are still within my tolerance levels. It can be exhausting to finish them all if you are not quick-witted though, especially since some levels are tricky to solve.

Length and Difficulty

Sadly, the game is very short. I finished it in 1.5h with only missing one secret area, which doesn’t give anything but an achievement. There is a New Game+ feature if you want to keep playing where you have to play the game with a screen disorienting feature. Unlike the normal playthrough, the screen will move when you pause, splitting them into 4+ screens as a result. It hurts my head so bad when I played it, so I won’t recommend it if you have a problem with looking at multiple moving screens at once.

As for the difficulty, I found the puzzles to be on medium difficulty. There were times when I got stumped, but it only took me several random tries to know what to do. The thought of giving up didn’t occur to me even once since I was having fun figuring the possibilities of the screen switching.

The zoomed-out version of the background is a nice sight to look at.

Problems

There is one occasion when the game bugged me out and I couldn’t move. I found out that you need to restart the whole level if you exit the level midway afterward, which took me a few minutes before I reached where I was.

Specs

Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

Verdict

I didn’t expect to get so much enjoyment from this one. Sure, my head might get a bit worn out after playing it, but I didn’t regret it. Puzzles are cleverly designed to let you keep on trying, and the beautiful-looking environments that you see as you play the game feels rewarding after your hard work. However, despite the great quality, the normal price might be too expensive for a 1.5h game. Luckily, it can be very cheap on a sale, so if you are the type who compares playtime based on the price, feel free to buy it on a sale – you won’t be missing out.

Written by
aquatorrent
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