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This title was reviewed on PC but is also available on Nintendo Switch.

Semblance is a puzzle-platformer game developed by Nyamakop and published by Good Shepherd Entertainment (PC version) and Gambitious (Switch version), released on July 24th, 2018. Available via Steam, GOG, Itch.io, and Nintendo eShop, Semblance promises to “take the idea of a platformer and turn it on its head”.

Semblance plays in a way which I’ve never even heard of for a platformer. You play as a little blob on an adventure to cure his world from a crystalline infection by entering different worlds via magical trees, and solving puzzles to collect these orbs which cure the crystallization. How do you solve these puzzles? Squishing the environment by slamming against it, causing it to morph in whichever way you choose! This unique gameplay mechanic lets the player be largely in charge of making platforms yourself, and opens up many different ways of solving the game’s many puzzles. As you move, the ground kind of waves or wiggles with your movement, which makes even walking feel really satisfying and fun! The puzzles are also very well designed and work perfectly with the squish mechanics, like some where you have to morph a platform to change a laser beam’s trajectory, or squish the ground to get underneath obstacles or avoid hazards. This game is incredibly innovative and I wish more developers were this creative!

Here you can see how one can morph the environment to create their own “platforms”. Also, the green particles deactivate the player’s squishing ability, which makes puzzles like this quite a challenge!

The graphics use a minimalistic style, but the game is still very pretty to look at with all its different colours and neat particle effects (throw in neat particle effects and you’ll get a free point from me any day!) I dunno what else to say about the graphics, they’re sweet and simple and I love them. The music is also really good. It fits the mood of how dark the world looks while still being really nice, and I honestly might just listen to the music in the future while I’m reading or something. Really great presentation!

This game is just so darn pretty!

No real story, but this game doesn’t need a story to be fantastic! Between the awesome, unique gameplay and the stellar presentation, this game is probably a masterpiece! I’ve looked around a bit and it looks like this game is starting to pick up some traction (it’s the first game I’ve reviewed to have a Wikipedia article), and I’m sure if it keeps getting increasingly more attention, Semblance may one day be seen as a classic! Is this review a bit on the short side? Yeah, maybe, but there’s really not much more I can say other than if you have $10, Semblance is more than a worthy investment!

10

Pros

  • Fun, unique, and addictive gameplay
  • Clever, challenging puzzles
  • Amazing usage of the game’s mechanics
  • Great tunes
  • Sweet and simple graphics that are super nice to look at

Cons

  • This game is STILL not getting enough attention! Spread the word, people!

1 comment

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