Crayon Physics and Fez
There wasn’t much to it but Line Rider had me hooked for days drawing virtual slopes for a poor fella to sled down. The beauty of that popular game was both its simplicity and its invitation to build many of the variables that influenced the action.
Two other new “homemade” games are expanding on similar foundations and causing quite a stir. Fez and Crayon Physics Deluxe both demo’d at the Independent Games Festival offshoot of the recent Game Developers Conference. Both show that basic premises – a 2D character navigating a 3d world and wax crayon drawings that magically come to life – can captivate and draw audiences. Glowing reviews here.
I first saw Fez at a Montreal Pecha Kucha night back in January. Co-creator Phil Fish showed off his collection of bitmapped pixel characters and the Mario-esque world of floating cubes players would need to explore around. Striking visual design and a kinda trippy play on dimensional space.
I learned of the other game, Crayon Physics Deluxe, from the very cool YouTube video above (via Roy – thanks!). Created by Finnish student Petri Purho as a follow-up to the original freeware prototype he created (something he does within 7 days at least once every month), CPD makes fun out of solving puzzles with artistic vision and a creative use of physics. Slate says looks like it was designed by a third-grader. To his credit, Purho considers that a compliment.