June 23, 2012 6:00 PM | John Polson
Adventures of Shuggy developer Smudged Cat Games has released his portal-puzzle Metroidvania title Gateways. Along with the Windows release, players get to sample a demo. Heads up: the title screen was hard for my integrated-GPU laptop to handle, but importantly, performance in-game was fantastic!
The lengthy demo (I finished around 40-50 minutes) allows players to tinker with the torch/flashlight, standard portal, and shrinking portal to solve various puzzles: hard-to-reach, laser, switch, light sensor, time sensitive, and more. Thankfully, the developer confirmed the full game will read the demo's save file without losing progress.
Gateways also has a two-tiered, optional help system that is pretty clever. Players must spend 10 of the blue points they find to unlock the first help message, which states if the players have the tools they need to solve the puzzle. Spending 50 more of the limited-supply of points unlocks a video that shows the solution.
But puzzle platformer fans shouldn't quickly buy-in to those help hints. Solving Gateways' challenges was invigorating, even if a few reminded me of Portal. The extra gateway guns in the full game tease a further refreshing experience.
Gateways is available now DRM-free for Windows for $10 via the Humble Store.