The fourth game from the third Humble Indie Bundle goes by the name of Crayon Physics Deluxe and was created by the company Kloonigames. In the game you draw objects, ropes, lines all in a child’s crayons and then when finished they all start to react as if normal physics was acting on them with gravity and momentum coming into play.
The aim of the game is to get a little red ball across each small map to collect a star, and when you collect the star, you finish the level. At first it’s literally child’s play. Drop an object on the ball at a certain angle to make it roll towards the star. Slowly however the puzzles get harder and harder and more and more fiendish as you have to avoid drops and pitfalls that send your ball back to the start.
The game itself is very nicely done. The physics engine works really well and I personally love the crayon drawn backgrounds and objects. To me it just makes the game very cheery and happy and feels very easy going. As well as the nice atmosphere created by the design of the game the music in the game ISN’T like the music in Blipzkrieg or Cogs (see reviews here and here). It is repetitive, yes. And there isn’t really more than one music track, which is the same. However the difference is that the music in Crayons is very gentle and almost soothing in a way, fitting in with the cheerful atmosphere. It doesn’t get boring or repetitive because it’s not a major part of the game, it’s designed to fade into the background and just become a part of the over-all experience. Very nice.
So it looks and sound great. The puzzles themselves are also all different and well thought out, with the odd new object or tool to use in some levels to get the stars.
Unfortunately life isn’t perfect in Crayon world. The major problem is that while the puzzles may be well thought out and intelligent, it takes a certain type of mind to figure out how to do the puzzles… a type of mind I don’t possess. I got a fair distance into the game BUT only through repeated trial and error of a great many levels in a great many ways. And in too many levels the gain of a star was helped along by a large helping of lady luck, rather than a well thought out solution.
Now this doesn’t paint me in a great light I suppose as really it just means I am too dumb to get the damned puzzles right. I mean… it’s in crayon… how hard can it be?!? And that was the attitude I took, but so many of the levels are so completely fiendish and in the end when I do manage them, it didn’t feel like a good win as I would basically just keep drawing until something worked!
And, worse, then you and you watch some videos on Youtube to try and figure out better ways of doing the puzzles. For example this video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tH4yVB8rvk
You then go away and try out the damned solution, because frankly, the guy in the video is doing it with ONE object! It doesn’t get much better than that. So you go and try it out… and then that doesn’t work either. So you try his method in a bunch of different ways, all in search of that one move perfection but repeatedly it simply will not work. At all. It. doesn’t. work. IS HE A FUCKING WIZARD ?!!?!?
And then it’s back to the old drawing board (literally) and you mess about for aaages and eventually come up with some hopelessly flung together lines which SOMEHOW work…
So basically, it works well and looks great. But I think you need a certain mind type to be able to solve the puzzles in ways that don’t leave you feeling more frustrated than when you were actually doing the puzzle itself. I’d recommend trying it though. I enjoyed the game, very much so actually, I just REALLY wasn’t any good at it.
On a side note folks! And this is important! The Humble Bundle is only for sale for ONE MORE DAY!! And now you can pay £0.01 and not only get the games we’ve been reviewing but also the games from the previous Humble Bundle AND MORE!! Why haven’t you got it yet!?!?