Welcome to the Manifold Garden, a game where you have to brace for the beauty of repetition and some very amazing puzzles to interrupt your mind.
Welcome to the Manifold Garden, a game where you have to brace for the beauty of repetition and some very amazing puzzles to interrupt your mind. It's an Escher-inspired pipe vision of a game—you have the power to assign gravity to either side of an area at any time, and it's impressive how many various challenges the game succeeds in pulling on this concept, with new features being slowly added at just the right speed to offer additional difficulty without being utterly daunting. Discovering such colors is often important to their own specific gravity doesn't take long, and as such, cubes can be shifted even while the universe is in that orientation. Attach stairs moving in various directions, turn configurations, and phased conditions, and even such fairly simple puzzles require some mind-bending to get used to, which allows for extra rewards as answers come in.
Things that were not necessarily apparent, such as knowing that the force of one block may be used to avoid another from collapsing in order to cause a nearly unlikely turn, have gone from edge-of-the-brain ideas to instinct. It is at those moments where I realized my power was that in this ever-changing room, where the game made me feel like a ruler of my own realm. The music is sparse, but it ramps up in peak moments with powerful synths that appear to reflect the setting. Many of the surroundings are plain, like a gorgeous block tree with flowing water in a kind of Japanese garden aesthetic.
The spatial levels themselves simply loop indefinitely through the vacuum of the universe, and this is more than just an esthetic choice — it helps you to slide off the ledge forever and then land again on previously unreachable places, providing another obtuse feature that comes into play in later puzzles. Across any respect, Manifold Garden's universe pushes you to think creatively while ensuring that you're still safe — there's no death or fall destruction of any sort. There's only enough way in which you get the rewarding sensation of figuring out something yourself, which comes with a profound sense of achievement. And when fresh, unexpected components are introduced, they are rooted in such recognizable imagery that you can ultimately discern modern ideas with limited pace.
There were a lot of other moments when I think a little more guidance was needed, even where I solved the accident problem and skipped an valuable lesson as a result. As I stood in the unlikely universe of the Manifold Forest, I felt checked and deserving of it. The puzzles are extremely rewarding and deliver a brilliant combination of step-by-step knowledge-building and progressively difficult solutions. Environments are awe-inspiring in their constant repetition, but repetition is not a characteristic mirrored in the difficulty of the game.