Tuesday, November 24, 2015

PC Review #133: Glitchspace

Title: Glitchspace
Developer: Space Budgie
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Price: $12.99
While some games like Hacknet and Uplink present relatively realistic focus on manipulating systems and code, many revolve around a more game-y form of programming, from Gunpoint's Crosslink to Spacechem's chemistry veneer. Glitchspace combines first-person puzzle platforming with a sleek visual programming mechanic.
Glitchspace drops you into a minimalist expanse of floating architecture and portals. As you traverse the levels, new programming mechanics are unlocking, allowing you to manipulate the properties of red platforms. As a platformer, Glitchspace is simple; you won't need split-second reflexes to jump across gaps or ride along moving objects. But where Glitchspace excels is putting the power to manipulate the world at your fingertips, through its clean visual programming interface.
Altering physics, editing logic, transferring momentum to objects, and much more is possible through Glitchspace's programming. The interface is presented through a simple-to-navigate menu of linking nodes, divided into sections such as Math, Vectors, and Logic. Combining nodes lets you turn a platform into a powerful trampoline, edit a passing object out of existence, or even change your own properties.

From exploring the game's odd stages to mastering the programming puzzles in both the campaign and Sandbox mode, Glitchspace is easily my favorite in the genre. The interface is simple to use and easy to understand, and there's something quite satisfying about seeing the effects of your manipulation in real-time, as platforms shift and change or launch you through the air. Exploring with the programming possibilities in Sandbox shows the potential depth for challenging and complex puzzles, especially when you find yourself drifting through the world because you made a platform disable the effects of gravity.

Glitchspace was completely revamped in a recent Alpha 2.0 update, improving everything from the art style to level progression and the look of the programming interface, and the game continues to grow on Early Access. The developers are currently working on a better tutorial, a level editor, and crafting new challenges.
Glitchspace is available on Steam, itch.io, and IndieGameStand.

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