March 5, 2015 1:00 PM | Luca Colosso
Backterria's description of his latest freeware title The Aspect is as short as the game itself. It's a puzzle platformer that's been developed in under 48 hours for the first FlexIndie game jam. Given the limited development time, I was surprised that the usual clunkiness of jam titles was nowhere to be found. Instead, its disarming smoothness, meaningful puzzles, and the great utilization of the rather small area that needs to be explored, made me completely forget that this was actually a game made over the course of one single weekend.
The game jam was about cults, and in The Aspect, it seems like it's been portrayed the slightly bad meaning that people tend to associate with the concept. A cult doesn't need to be a group of maniacs that worship a made up evil divinity. But regardless of that, in here you're going to be playing as a hooded entity that's late for a mystic ceremony. The ominous soundtrack and the black & red pixel art suggest yet again that whatever you're supposed to do, is not going to be anything politically correct. Though what you then realize, is that you're merely a courier in all of this dark intentions.
Upon reaching the location where the ritual is supposed to take place, you're asked to find the required herbs and a virgin. So by continuing on your way, you'll eventually end up in the house of your future prey. Nothing can be done there, at first, but the initial item required to solve a series of concatenated puzzles can be found by just searching a little closely. Interacting with the environment is done via the up arrow key, remember that.
There's a lot of backtracking involved, as the herbs you need are in the most hard to reach places that the whole level can offer. One, for instance, is placed at the end of a series of floating platforms that's situated between three scenes. It's the transition between one and another that throws you off. But even though many of those jumps are tedious, and apparently impossible, if you managed to retrieve first your gym shoes, everything can be done.
The virgin can only be moved when you'll bring her a ring, and especially since there's an important area that resulted to be slightly hidden, the whole retrieval of the item can take you up to a few minutes. All in all, The Aspect can be anyway completed in less than 10 minutes, and that includes the inevitable couple of times where you'll feel lost, too.
The Aspect can be downloaded on its itch.io page for Windows machines.