• And Yet It Moves Review Nintendo Wii

    'Twisting' is the verb that most accurately describes the action the player engages in throughout And Yet It Moves. The experience of playing resembles a parchment carefully being unfolded before you to reveal every possible consequence of a gameplay conceit so easily described and yet so difficult to realise. This is gaming as it once was supposed to be, inconsequential narrative discarded in favour of pure, ingenious design.

    And Yet It Moves is controlled by various methods, depending on your particular controller combination, but one thing remains constant: the need to rotate the world around our hand-drawn avatar. The game is 2D and the player-character can move in a conventional platforming manner – left and right, and up with the use of the jump button – but it is by rotating the environment around him that you introduce momentum to his corporeal mass. There is something stomach-like about the alien landscape which you find yourself in, and you are tasked with passing yourself, excrement-like, through the bowels of this cardboard-themed earth.

    Some pathways can be created by this rotation – according to the precise direction of gravity, new platforms might appear beneath your feet, rotate into place, or become dislodged and act as a swing. The problem is that this rotation also brings attendant obstacles, such as heavy rocks, which quickly descend and crush the player to death. Furthermore, there are many lock-and-key puzzles, such as using native bats to disturb angry beasts, providing a path for a raging fire, or delivering a tasty morsel that might distract a venus flytrap.

    It is this system of balance that forms the main body of gameplay within, but it is complemented by a cardboard- and paper-based art style which, although a little garish, certainly shows a depth of artistic vision. More impressive are the sound effects and music. The environment clicks, thumps and chirrups in a satisfying manner and, at times, the game also makes use of simple silence to emphasise the total isolation of your tortuous passage. The music, meanwhile, is really quite brilliant. As the drama heightens, the music seems to grow organically out of the environmental sounds until they form a catchy accompaniment that mirror your attempts to soften the fall of our hero. The world that has been constructed here, although far less ambitious, is at times reminiscent of the long-forgotten Amiga classic, Exile. It is the combination of fast-moving descent, carefully chosen sound effects and an interactive wildlife which brings the game to mind. It was a game far ahead of its time and still unique in many ways, which is why it is so pleasant to find its vision living on in highly mutated form here.

    It is worth dwelling a little longer on the central mechanic of the game. The player-character is frozen in mid-air whenever the relevant button is held, and, with the default control option, the world rotates with a tip of the Wii remote. When released, the character (and indeed any inanimate objects) will then fall until they hit a solid object (or the solid objects hit them). If the player has jumped, or already influenced momentum before starting the rotation, then this momentum will also have a limited effect upon direction. If you are going too fast then, most of the time, you will smash against the floor and disintegrate into your constituent limbs. It is possible, though, to soften your impact by hitting a steep slope, and this can often mean the difference between life and death.

    The game can become tricky at times but it is never for want of a checkpoint – since these are generously provided – so much as it is a failure either of the player's imagination or motor skills. The more the game progresses, the smaller the spaces the player is forced to fit through, or the more complicated and time-deprived the puzzle spaces become. One scenario that is particularly worthy of mention is where the player controls both himself and his shadow; when you walk left, he walks right and when you turn to place the earth beneath your feet, it invariably pulls the earth away from his. The trick is to get yourself to his end of the maze and yourself to his.

    Games today are becoming ever more complex, with the mega-publishers caught up in an arms race to constantly outdo the epic sales sensations of the year before. Sometimes, though, with such a dramatic backdrop, we can forget that the best presents often come in the smallest of packages. Whilst And Yet It Moves may not be the first downloadable platformer in recent years to create a mechanic and extract from it a series of mind-bending puzzles, it is surely another timely reminder of what makes gaming great.

    Players: 1
    Genre: Puzzle-Platformer
    Developer Broken Rules
    Publisher: Broken Rules
    Platform: Nintendo Wii
    Version: USA
    -Great music.
    -Plays great.
    -Wii version has new, unlockable modes.
    -Some levels resemble sick.
    -Player's arms can get tangled.

    Score: 8/10