Platform: iOS, Android
Release Date: 11/12/2011
One of the most powerful and effective tools a game has is the ability to allow the player to identify with the collection of polygons they are controlling on the screen. Sometimes I feel like a game can give me a list of completely mundane tasks to complete, and as long as I feel like I can relate to my character, I’ll probably do them without complaining. It’s for this very reason that I’ve often had a hard time thoroughly enjoying the vast majority of faceless puzzle games. They disregard the very thing that holds a game’s psychological narrative together.
When I began to hear buzz about a little isometric puzzle game called Edge, I honestly didn’t expect the great experience I had with the game. After all, there’s nothing less human than a emotionless cube rolling around on equally dull geometric objects. Yet in Edge, the surprise for me was that is precisely what the games does. I have to admit: I’ve been charmed.
As is common, the devil is in the details. Edge’s fluid 60-frames-per-second animation, extremely tight touch controls, surprisingly good electronic music and minimalist Tron-like visuals all make for a game that is just fun to roll around in. The good news is that when in comes to the puzzles themselves, Edge is no slacker either. Refusing to be lazy, the game manages to surprise and challenge the player throughout its 48 levels in a comfortably gradual learning curve. In other words, you’ll die plenty of times, but if your experience is anything like mine, you’ll still love it every bit of the way.
The game is a few years old, originally released on the PC for Steam and eventually making its way to the iOS App Store in 2009. Mobigame has now updated the game with an expansion game called Edge Extended, which came out this August (and hopefully excuses me for reviewing such an old game). The 44 new levels are a welcome addition and prove that Mobigame is full of smart game designers, adding even more variety to the already plentiful mix. But as good as the variety of puzzles and levels are, the true success of the game still rests on its beautifully refined mechanics.
In the same vein as how satisfying Sonic’s run” or Mario’s “jump” feels, Edge establishes a kinetic connection between the player and the game that has drawn me in more than a human-like avatar ever could. Perhaps that’s what alternative interfaces like touch screens and motion controls have picked up on that ultra-realistic HD graphics have tended to forget—sometimes how a game feels is more important than how a game looks.