Review: Another Perspective

Another Perspective is a humble effort by a small team that wisely chose to make the game’s core strengths shine and not needlessly overachieve in other areas. The game is a puzzle platformer, and there are numerous examples of the genre in the indie gaming scene that have become indie darlings of sorts such as Braid, Fez, and other alternative platformers. Another Perspective has a similar vibe to those games as it has an apparent demeanor of being one of those artsy games. But after clearing the introductory levels you discover a game that confidently banks on its core gameplay mechanic and presents it in many interesting ways.

The premise of Another Perspective centers around this idea of perception and existentialism. It almost presents the cogito ergo sum argument with a video game twist, and that’s probably the best way to describe the plot. You take control of a character who doesn’t quite know who he is, why he is in this particular game world, or what he is even doing. The narration involves him talking to himself, and also breaking the fourth wall to talk to the player. The vagueness and nonsensical nature of the dialogue can be amusing, and the game doesn’t mind poking fun at its silliness and attempts at being one of those artsy games. As you play through the game the ramblings get crazier but a little more interesting. The revelation at the end of the game won’t necessarily surprise or move you, but it still gets the message across. The writing and narration isn’t the main meat of the experience, although it may initially seem that way, which is a good thing because this focus on perception and self is not solely meant to be a story gimmick, because it first and foremost lays the foundation for the game’s crucial gameplay mechanic, with levels and puzzles intuitively built around it.

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In Another Perspective you manage several selves of the main protagonist, and these selves work independently, and yet together, to solve the many puzzles and challenges. Each self of the protagonist has different thoughts, and for the most part entirely different perceptions of the same level, and yet they exist simultaneously. In essence,  these multiple playable characters act as different perspectives of the main protagonist. You take control of one perspective at a time while the others remain frozen where you last left them, even if it was midway during a jump. You can use the different perspectives to assist you in reaching a platform, grabbing keys, and essentially use them as makeshift jumping platforms for the most part. When polarizing gravity comes into play the puzzles get even trickier.

The puzzles do a good job at providing satisfying and intuitive platforming challenges that rarely feel unreasonable. There is a clear and dead easy solution to even the most head scratching of puzzles, and that’s a testament to how nicely assembled the game is from a design standpoint. The main quest is of satisfying length, it took me over an hour to work through it the first time and there’s an additional mode which offers more challenging puzzles. What’s cool is that the game was built as a speed-run title, another indication of how clean the design of the levels are.

All that said, Another Perspective is far from being the next big indie darling, or the next big platformer, but it soundly executes a nice idea. The visuals are simple and remain consistent from start to finish, as does the eerie atmospheric music. The visuals and sound of the game are far from being the most proficient or varied and it would have been nice to have some variety, but at the same time the consistent and looped nature of the presentation adds to the surreal dream-like nature of the game.

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Closing Comments:

Another Perspective takes a philosophical idea and uses it to fuel its gameplay mechanics and platform puzzles. Most indie games would settle to use art and philosophy just to spice up the aesthetic and plot, but Another Perspective successfully translates these apparent superficial elements into a fun gameplay mechanic, and to create some intuitive levels. It may not have the visual splendor, its writing may be on the corny and silly side, and its interesting mechanics and puzzle ideas won’t exactly change your life like other classics in the flourishing indie platformer scene. But at the end of the day, Another Perspective takes a cool little idea and executes it in a variety of ways without major hitches.
score3.5
Platform: PC