Platform: Windows, Mac, Steam
Reviewed on: Windows
Players: Single player
Written by Whistler 23rd May 2016
It was a rather surprisingly pleasant experience when I began to warm up to software development and even more so when I could understand the lines of seemingly gibberish java. Of course there are always those times when you’ll just sit there dumbfounded as to what single piece of code is stopping everything from working but fixing them would always be invigorating. Glitchspace developed by Dundee-
Glitchspace sees you the player plonked down in a neon lit cyberspace populated with floating cuboids, platforms and puzzles to solve as you make your way towards an unstated goal.
I’ll admit the lack of driving narrative made the initial warming period to the first person puzzle solver a little slow to boil. But once Glitchspace grows on you it’ll prove to be one of this year’s more creative puzzle titles mixing portal like gameplay with visual programming. Though it’s a little disheartening to see just how over reliant it is on your willingness to learn and challenge your grey matter as opposed to a more traditional narrative structure.
Your path through this cyber world is block your path, only by reprogramming these ‘glitches’ can you reach your destination. Your sole method for solving these brain teasers are to utilize a simple 2D menu called ‘Null’ that condenses visual basic programming into a universally understandable jigsaw puzzle.
Clicking on red blocks and platforms located throughout each level will display the Null canvas; what starts with simple alterations quickly evolving into vast branching networks of logic. Linking nodes together allows you to manipulate these objects ranging from changing their position, size and even physicality. Thankfully there’s enough room for trial and error as nodes can only be connected to corresponding nodes dictated by icons.
While you don’t need to know the basics of programming there are some deceptive similarities where I found applying the same kind of logic helps understand the environment more so. Even then though it can be said that Glitchspace is occasionally clunky in its own rules or explanations. You can keep trying but understanding the more complex puzzles are reduced to frustrating trial and error exercises. Occasionally Glitchspace doesn’t do a great job of explaining why certain combinations of nodes don’t work together.
It’s just a shame though that Glitchspace doesn’t manage much to invest you in terms of replayability. It’s certainly an enjoyable glimpse into visual based programming and puzzle solving that’s equal parts enjoyable as it is frustrating. It’s more than worth a look given asking price but the lack of motivational drive left me wanting after my time with it. Space Budgie have laid a solid foundation with a creative spin that hopefully they can build upon next time.
Thought provoking puzzles,
Unique spin of puzzle solving,
Lack of motivational drive,
Clunky in its explanation of rules or mechanics,
Trial and Error with some puzzles are just frustrating.
Glitchspace scores a 6.5/10.