bacongames's And Yet It Moves (PC) review

Everything surrounding the character is amazing.

Art design is impeccable.

I heard good things about this game many years ago from the IGF and other word of mouth methods but if a game is worth playing, it usually has to come to me which it did when during one of Steam's infamous sales. I'm glad I did buy it because And Yet It Moves is a surprisingly creative and well executed platformer that I would recommend playing or at the very least trying out.

Let's start off with the good stuff. The game's basic mechanic is that you are a paper man in a paper world running to your next destination. The thing that sets AYIM apart is that you can rotate the screen left or right 90 degrees. Gravity always pulls downward so this allows you to manipulate the direction of gravity. It also allows you to turn paper/rock faces into ground and so forth. If this was all this game was about, I'd label it a quirky little indie game and call it a day. Fortunately the variety present is highly enjoyable.

Did I mention swinging platforms?

I was honestly surprised by the amount of creative things Broken Rules have implemented with this mechanic. The main character can't really do anything but run and jump (more on that later) but it's the turning mechanic that highlights the true star of the game: the level design. The background aesthetics convey the appropriate feeling (jungle, desert, papery weirdness) and the music is very atmospheric. Although very light-hearted, the music can give off a very brooding atmosphere that can be disturbing in a good way. The art style aside, here are some of the great things that pop up to change up the simple platforming: platforms only appearing at a certain rotation, parts of the level rotating when you rotate that hinder or help you, giant screen sized pinwheels that have you adjusting to stay on, moving holes in the paper that you can fall through (edges of levels are just empty as well), a shadow version of your character that moves equal but opposite of you, and platforms that appear and disappear in successive order. If you're worried about variety, you need not be worried about AYIM. In addition to level design, the game has the occasional boss battle unique to its setting.

Your main enemies are loose pieces from the environment.

However as you can see this is a 4 star game. This comes down to the fact that all sources of my frustration came from the character you play as. He can't do anything and nothing happens to him. There's nothing to collect, he has no way to interact and has no other abilities. Because of his limitations, what that character actually does needs to be done well. I am sort of disappointed to announce that he kinda does and kinda doesn't. He runs and falls just fine but combining jumping and turning can lead to some frustration. You certainly get used to it (mostly) but by the end of the game I still found myself missing platforms because of this. You wish he would just control better but there he is once again moving a little farther than you would have liked. Another problem is the art style of the character himself. He is just plain white with black lines and he has these horrible looking vertical dreads that make him look like someone you want to bean with a brick. It really stands in contrast to the brilliant art surrounding him. A typical frustrating moment is when you jump, can't seem to control him just enough, he misses a ledge, you turn the world to set him upright, and keep missing. You constantly accelerate throughout all this, meaning that if you do hit a platform he breaks up into paper pieces and you get transported back to one of the game's admittedly forgiving checkpoints. I also found myself unable to really judge how much is too much fall damage to kill him.

As a platformer this is an important entry in its legacy for combining innovative level design and game mechanics with a very unique art style. Either alone would not be enough but together they create a truly unique experience. The turning gameplay is also really fun and what kept me coming back. However the main character could benefit from a much better art design and tighter controls. Overall though he's serviceable in what is otherwise a brilliant indie title. I should also mention the achievements are illegal amounts of hard. I don't recommend seeking them out.


Other reviews for And Yet It Moves (PC)

    A Lacklustre Platformer with an Interesting Mechanic 0

    And Yet It Moves was a game I picked up from “Steam’s Indie Bundle” upon the release of Steam on Mac. At first it was not a game I was particularly interested in playing; the other games in the pack such as Machinarium and World of Goo had attracted me to it far more than this. However, upon reading its Steam Page the game’s mechanics appeared to be interesting, and I thought it might be a fun game to play. I could not have been more wrong. The game handles terribly, and the idea of rotating the...

    2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

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