Developer: Barnaque | Publisher: Nakana.io || Overall: 8.5/10
Infini is probably the strangest, most psychedelic puzzle game to ever be created. Let’s just say there’s a lot of weird shit that happens in here, folks. I really didn’t expect any of what I played and it kept getting weirder and… “better” as I went along. The puzzles are all competently designed, and feel like they’re from a different era; heck, a different universe even. Everything about it is a throwback to early 2000’s GameMaker games where its just one guy doing everything and somehow being able to put it all together.
The story is basically about a bunch of personified “Ideas” interacting with each other. Hope, the main character, is trying to escape Infinity and go back to Reality. All of it is very abstract and I don’t understand half of what anyone is saying or doing. As you get more clues of explanation, going back and watching the story scenes might help make more sense of it all. The game begins with a naked man skydiving out of a large rectangular prism with elephant legs, so it doesn’t pull any punches on what to expect. There are multiple references to something vaguely called “The Incident,” which brings an allure of mystery to the story.
The graphics/art are definitely a very distinctive aspect for this title. While not everything looks “appealing” to the eye, it is all essentially working together in such a way that makes it look like some sort of weird, animated experimental film. So much so, that if there were a movie with all of these elements in it, it would probably garner a much more invigorating response from myself since I’m infinitely (pun intended) more interested in the lore and story than the puzzles.
Yet another aspect of the game that exceeds itself. The soundtrack is almost too good for this game — if it weren’t specifically made for it. Each level has its own mood and the music is unique and even shifts throughout the stages in each level. A lesser game would maybe have 5 or 6 songs total and re-use them regardless of what was going on in the story. Since you’ll be retrying stages over and over as you figure them out, the music is such an important part for keeping at it.
At its basic level, the game is a puzzle game. Each level has about 10 or more stages. The puzzles themselves aren’t too crazy or ridiculous (other than the background art), but the mechanics you’ll use to solve the puzzles are varied and interesting. There are some similarities throughout the levels, but most have a unique challenge or aspect that keeps the gameplay fresh.
The general idea for the puzzles is that you are constantly falling and eventually want to get to a “ring” (or maybe it is a portal). How you get there is impacted by the layout of the barriers, and the mechanics introduced for that level. Mechanics range from multiple 2D planes, rotating, flying, falling slower, swimming, etc. One of the biggest constants will be using the borders of the screen to reach the other side of the screen, almost like a wormhole. When zooming is introduced, these borders change dramatically and you have more control over where you appear on the map. You’ll have to do some layman’s quantum mechanics to figure out how to get through some of the levels.
Eventually, you’ll also find special objects that open up new stages or unlock extras in a “bonus” type of area. You’ll collect letters from these special objects and read stuff in this bonus room, so it is an overarching goal to replay stages to find these objects if you didn’t get them the first time around. Luckily, you don’t need to play from start to finish to save your progress in this regard, you can just pick and choose the stage and quit after you complete the single stage.
So, it’s hard to really shit on this game, but the crappiest part is definitely how if you get stuck on a level, there’s no way to look up a guide to get through it. It is a new game, but also, not many people are playing it. So, it can get frustrating if you are banging your head against a wall for 999,999,999 attempts. The game does open up a bit as you progress, so you don’t necessarily have to linearly complete each level, but it will be the main way to unlock shit. You’ll be able to quit and come back later, at least.
No need to take drugs before you play — you’ll gain an effective high just from the sights and sounds. You’ll see some shit, and your brain will flip around in its skull with all of the space/time bending puzzles. A lot of it won’t make sense as you’re doing it, but you’ll somehow figure it out if you keep at it.
It looks good. I’ll probably end up getting it somewhere down the line. Thanks for the review!