Expand

 

Data
Break Up
Game: Expand
Genre: Adventure, Indie, Puzzle
Developer: Chris Johnson , Chris Larkin
Publisher: Chris Johnson ,   Chris Larkin
Release Date: Sep 30, 2015
Platform: PC / Windows 7
Overall rating:  8/10
Graphics: 9/10
Controls: 8/10
Level/Puzzle Design: 10/10
Sound: 9/10
Story: N/A
Replay Value: 9/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

On steam the game is described as “a meditative video game in which you explore a circular labyrinth that constantly twists, stretches and expands around you,” and it is the best description you will ever get of how this puzzle game works.
Even the menu (which has a full range of options, from window to sound to resolution… ) is a little adventure on its own, as it serves as a quasi introduction to how you will be moving around once you start the game.

The labyrinth that is this circle seems to be in constant movement – and so will you be, as you navigate through it with a most delightful, relaxing soundtrack and sounds, solving puzzles and finding your way through the nearly seamless integration of levels.
The game ‘auto saves’ fairly often enough via various checkpoints, so that when you fail at a section the circles will swiftly return to the position of the last checkpoint, and move a bit as if to ‘help’ you get your bearings better (though I can’t say it helped me as much)… because you most definitely will need to get your bearings at first.

The controls are initially confusing because of the circular nature of the game area – what is up in one part of the circle will be down in another part as if you were gravitationally pulled, and so you must adapt as the circular labyrinth breaths. It truly seems to be alive, as it moves, expands and contracts depending on the areas and what you do.
You can play with a gamepad or with your keyboard wasd/arrow keys, giving you enough flexibility to try and find what’s most comfortable to you.

I didn’t find this one quite as relaxing as I found Hook, however, it’s still a beautiful puzzle game with a beautiful soundtrack that is visually very pleasant.
Do be warned, however, that in some of the levels the various moveable pieces will be rotating around and can make overly sensible people a little bit dizzy. They were going slowly enough that it wasn’t that much of a problem to me, but it’s a possibility.

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