August 25, 2013 9:48 AM | Paul Hack
Like Yin and Yang, the characters Red and Blue are two halves of one whole and operate both in harmony and in opposition. In RedplusBlue, by Thomas Pathuis, your goal on each level is to unite these two robots. You'll contend with some standard puzzle-platformer elements, like switches and pits of toxic slime, but even the simplest hurdle becomes more challenging because you simultaneously control both characters with each keystroke.
You use the arrow keys or WASD to make Red and Blue walk, jump, and crouch. They both move at the same time, but when Red walks right, Blue walks left, and vice versa. To help them reach one another, you'll need to employ techniques like stalling one of them by treading a conveyor belt, or jumping over a switch to keep from activating it.
In addition to getting Red and Blue together to complete each level, you have to collect 20 balls of goo scattered across the first 10 levels in order to unlock the 11th one. There are also 3 screws located in extremely hard-to-reach places that will unlock the special level 0.
RedplusBlue is essentially an 11-level prototype right now, and it's engaging for the duration. With a few more twists on the central mechanic and some more obstacles, RedplusBlue would be able to stay fresh for another 50 levels. The gameplay is clever and fun, and the presentation is smooth and shiny. The art style is not quite like something I've seen before, and the use of color and space is very easy on the eyes.
If the reception is good, Pathuis plans to expand the game and add some new mechanics (he mentioned portals and gravity flips, among other things). For now, he's entered the current version in the 2014 IGF Student Showcase. RedplusBlue is available as a free download for Windows.