Manifold Garden (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)

Manifold Garden is a first person perspective puzzle game that takes a lot of inspiration from M.C. Escher’s artwork.  You’ll solve basic block and switch puzzles, but the gimmick here is that you can change gravity so you can walk on walls and ceilings!  And don’t worry if you fall, the levels loop so you can land where you started, or somewhere else if need be.  The game is available to download on pretty much anything you can play a game on, but reviewed on Switch here.

Controls are easy to learn.  Move with the L stick and look around with R.  You can run by holding down the L trigger button, handy for when you need some extra speed to fall onto platforms.  Interact with objects like switches and blocks with the A button, and change gravity when you’re near a wall with the R trigger.

Graphics are very minimalistic and mostly black and white, but one neat thing they do is that to let you know what is the ‘ground,’ they’ll make the floor change to certain colors.  Blocks and switches you can interact with on that plane will be the same color as well, so it’s pretty helpful.  Most of the puzzles involve putting blocks on switches, or placing blocks in a certain spot, changing the gravity, and then putting blocks on top of that ‘frozen’ block so you can reach them easier.

The only main problem I had with this game, and it’s what kept me from staying interested in it, is that goals and objectives are extremely unclear.  I like it when games let you learn how to play by letting you discover the mechanics on your own instead of having to wade through text or sit through long tutorials.  And this game is one of those that does that, so it’s pretty neat.  But there’s a fine line between spoonfeeding you in a game and not giving you any direction at all, and unfortunately this game crosses that line several times.  Most of the time I had no idea what to do or where to go (or fall).  The game’s official Web site has a handy walkthrough to get you started, but after that it’s a guessing game where you’ll fumble a lot.  Or at least I did.  But if you enjoy challenging first person puzzlers like Superliminal or Portal, you may want to check this one out anyway.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Reading skill isn’t needed, but younger gamers may need help with the tougher puzzlers.  Manifold Garden is rated E for Everyone.

One Response to “Manifold Garden (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)”

  1. I’ve been meaning to try this one for a while. You might also want to let readers know that this has been included with Apple Arcade for a while, so if you’re subscribed there, it’s free for you.

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