24/07/2018

🌳 Review: Semblance "A delightfully deformed development" 🌳 #GameDev #IndieGame

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Game Title: Semblance
Developer: Nymakop
Platform Reviewed: Switch
Rating: Ice Cool
Released simultaneously on Switch and through Steam, Nymakop’s Semblance is a wordless puzzle-platformer that bounces off all the right buttons, making playing through its rubbery world a joy.

Set in a very squishy and colourful place, the story begins with a green ‘hardness’ taking over all of the soft denizens of Semblance’s landscape. Our nameless blob of a hero takes it upon himself to reverse this emerald travesty and return his home to its original shape.
Playing out in 2D, the core game play of Semblance is collecting the red glowing orbs in each world, which are in turn separate into stages, represented by the branches of a tree. Each world is distinguished by a different colour and naturally raise in difficulty as they are worked through. Aside from the orbs, which are required in order to progress, there are also hovering enemy flies, which act as extra tests of your skills as they are often difficult to reach and destroy. Semblance also features hidden areas that add to the exploratory value.
Controls are very straightforward but give a surprising amount of variety in how the blob interacts with the game world, from altering the shape of platforms and morphing them to pass an enemy to bashing them along in order to reach a high area or knocking the angle of a laser off-line so that you can pass safely.

The game progresses in quite a comfortable arc, never feeling like a difficulty spike but instead a series of learning curves which feel seamless and natural. The alien landscape and gentle, silent tutorial adds to the ambience created by the gentle music which bubbles along in the background, giving off a relaxing vibe.
Although the main game mechanic is highly original and fun, the graphics sharp and vibrant and the music well-designed, there are some issues. I found the game sometimes glitched and resulted in my blob getting stuck in the scenery and also sometimes the frame-rate would stutter during scene transitions between puzzles, which seemed odd as it isn’t a particularly CPU-throttling game. These minor gripes aside, I found Semblance to be a really pleasant game to play with a really relaxing and yet addictive sense to it that made me want to keep playing.

Summary
Semblance is a very fun, cute and unique little game which really caught and held my attention. 
Bashing the platforms around to make your way through each segment never felt repetitive as new obstacles were always being introduced and the main mechanic felt explored without feeling tiresome, a great title with a few glitches and subtle frame-rate issues that I hope are ironed out in upcoming patches so that people can enjoy this game as the smooth rise that it so clearly deserves to be.
Right, I’m off to smell some Play-Dough.

❄️ RATING: ICE COOL ❄️
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)
Review By Britt