Platform: PC Games
Category: Platformer, Puzzle
I like puzzle games. I like time trial games. I love collectibles. So EDGE, by Two Tribes and Mobigame, really scratches my itch... and I love the clever little mechanics too. It's come out for the PC today, has been on the iOS for a while, and will be out for Mac very soon. And it's sorta fun!
Basically, the idea of EDGE is to rush your way through a cubic landscape (as a cube, naturally!) toward the exit, with the best score going to the run where you finish the level with style, lots of “Edge time” (basically, time spent hanging on a ledge by one edge, preferably on a diagonal), and all the tiny flashy cubes (Prisms) collected. It's a simple idea, made more complex by certain facts. First off, you're timed, so you have to do a quick run... yeah, sure, edge time is taken away from the total, but you're against the clock here, and this conflicts with collecting everything, because, from the second or third level in, you're going to have to go off the quick route to get all the prisms. Next up, there are switches. Some of them help you, some of them screw you over, but they both do this by rearranging the cubic landscape. So one switch might push out a ledge that allows you to get that prism you were looking for, while another might catapult you out into the lonely void, and add a death to push the coveted S+ rank for the level out of your reach. And death is never far away for our little cubic avatar, as the landscape will fall from under you, push you into space, launch you, trap you, and otherwise make your day a living hell that makes you hit the “retry” button.
Thing is, due to the way the cube works, you really do need some quick reflexes to get either good edge time or a good overall run, as the cube won't change direction until it's flat on the ground, and, if you're not careful, it'll wobble a bit as you overshoot slightly, losing you vital milliseconds each time you need to change the way you go. There are also some distinctly unfair traps, and a lot of the later levels really rely on that combo of trial, error, and memorisation we've come to know, although not exactly love. I'm alright with remembering my little “racing line”, but this is definitely not for everyone. Also somewhat souring it for me is the inevitable leaderboard cheating that turns up in time attack and score attack games. Okay, so you're expecting me to believe the first level can be finished in just under 8 seconds, when the absolute best I've managed is nigh on 15, using the strictest route possible? I want video proof of this before I'll accept it, EDGE players.
In any case, there are currently 48 levels, with more coming soon, and bonus levels exclusive to Steam players, so there's a fair amount of content for the game, and score chasing definitely leads to a fair amount of replay value for the people who like this sort of thing. The achievements are pretty sensible, and some (such as 10s Edge Time as a tiny cube) are surprisingly challenging (the mini cube is very hard to balance on one edge). But enough about the gameplay, let's talk a little bit about the graphics and sound. How shiny is it?
Well, for the price, the crisp cubic landscape is simple, yet hi-definition, and the soundtrack varies from the relaxing menu music, to the cheery chiptune of the first level, to the pumping beats of later levels. It's nearly all retro-electronica, but it fits what is, essentially, a retro game, and the bright colours and flashing lights are reminiscent of old arcade games. So it all fits together quite nicely.
Overall, if you like time-trial platform puzzlers with a bit of challenge, then definitely give this one a go. It's simple in concept, hard to master, and yet casual enough that you can just dip in and out of it whenever you feel like. A worthy joystick up from Game-Boyz, and value for money. It's 10% off for a few days after release, so even more value!