Publisher Serenity Forge‘s latest title, Four Sided Fantasy, certainly did not disappoint. This indie side scrolling adventure provided everything that we were looking for; dynamic gameplay elements, solid artwork and overall tone. It all makes for a fun playthrough. Let’s dive into the details of why we enjoyed it.
Four Sided Fantasy is a game where the player utilizes utilizes the edges and limitations of the screen to solve puzzles. So when the player hits a difficult patch or a seemingly unreachable jump, they can freeze the frame and use physics (shown in the image above) to cross these puzzles. This characteristic is very much like Portal except that it utilizes the fixed frame of the screen.
It starts off simple but the addition of another character begins the trend of seeing the simple physics change little by little. In some areas going through the edge of the screen will just cause the player to shift gravity rather than cross the map. At other points, it will cause them to shift from background to the foreground. Each new level (or season, as the game progresses through the various seasons) brings a new quirk or caveat to the freeze frame/edge tool. This ensures that the experience isn’t repetitive between levels which is fantastic.
The artwork in Four Sided Fantasy is pleasant and screams “indie” at every corner. The character animation is pretty simple, which is very fitting the minimal polygon design of the characters themselves. A personal favorite of mine was the artwork done during winter. The color and the dynamic particles moving around were wonderful and did an excellent job capturing the season. The music for the game is also very fluid and sets a wonderful atmosphere (reminiscent of titles like Braid). It sets the perfect ambiance for adventure and to entice the player to venture further.
The game does have a few flaws. Although they were infrequent, there were a few times where I experienced bugs. They took the form of falling through the level then falling for about a minute before dying and resetting. These were not game breaking bugs; they were just temporary nuisances and never once caused the game to quit or exit. This is not to be confused with the video camera stylistic feature, as that is there on purpose.
Additionally, the game isn’t terribly taxing. All of the challenges are very doable. There are a few moments where I found myself banging my head against the wall, but other than that the game was fairly easy. This makes it a harder sell for replay value, as the game itself is short and there are no additional levels to unlock. So if you are looking for a grueling puzzle experience, this may not scratch that itch.
Four Sided Fantasy is the perfectly short simple platformer. It is easy to play, incredibly child friendly, and is a rather relaxing game on the whole. For something that you want to pick up and play between triple A titles, this is a perfect chance to take your mind off of things and just enjoy the quiet elegance of a decent platformer.
- Fun and simple gameplay, not a lot of controls, therefore, easy to pick up
- Artwork and musical score are wonderfully done
- Portal like dynamic in a 2D world makes it incredibly fun
- Buggy moments of falling through the map
- Fairly easy with low replayability
Developer: Ludo Land
Publisher: Serenity Forge
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
Released: August 30th, 2016