Game of the Week: Closure

Well, I’m always a fan of etherial sorts of gameplay, and today’s game is no exception to that. I’m fascinated when a game can take a simple design aspect like light, and transform it into the base medium for their game. Now some of you may hate me today [ in fact I’m sure many of you will if you don’t own a PS3 ] but today’s game is a PSN exclusive  for now… unfortunately. I wish I could provide this game to anyone and everyone, but alas, there WILL be PC and Mac versions later this year. So now, please, before I ramble on any further – how about we get some Closure?

The light will guide you home...

I remember seeing closure back at PAX ’09 [ Yeah, it’s been a while ] and when I first checked out this game by Tyler Glaiel, Jon Shubbe, and Christopher Rhyne [ The trio of Eyebrow Interactive ] I was fascinated by the initial concept, and in fact, it was one of the first indie games that really strengthened my desire to step into this industry. [ Thanks guys! ]

Three years later, and now they’re a indie game sensation. They’ve won countless indie game awards, and honestly, when you look at Closure – you can see why. Closure is this artistic, musically enthralling, light puzzle game and it’s got so much going for it that I’m scared to even say a word about it.

Left or Right - Oh for the love of Light I can't choose!

The gameplay mechanics are really nice. I always love when you can port onto a game and your controls feel fluid and simple. The game only requires the use of three buttons too: x, square, and triangle. I’m hoping that the Mac and PC versions only require a point and click interface – it would provide much more accessibility. The game is intriguing on all fronts, whether it be the alluring art design from Shubbe, or the dark and pulse pounding musical tones from Ryhne – this game has a ton to keep you entertained.

The great thing is that, while in some cases and puzzles you have to follow the light around, I felt like there wasn’t a severe sense of urgency. If I failed I could simply start over again, and there was no real penalty or game over screen. The color scheme of the monotone black and white was a brilliant choice – considering that it aids colorblind gamers and makes the visuals actually pop quite nicely. There isn’t a real requirement to play this game with sound, but the sound definitely adds to the games allure – so deaf players will be sadly missing out if they don’t have hearing aids. I merely tried the demo, and I’m already hooked. They managed to take a game I had witnessed back when they first started conception – and turn it into a real masterpiece.

Lights... Camera... Action!

Accessibility, for mobility impaired gamers, is where it gets tricky. The game is simple, and so it’s refined mechanics make it easy to go from one button input to the next. The downside though, is that in many of some of the beginning puzzles [ and I presume further on ] you actually have to follow the light, and while I’m sure it can be done with one hand on the analog stick – it makes for precision timing issues and that can lead to the failure of a level multiple times. The game is forgiving though, and allows you to replay levels as many times as you need, which is a refreshing thing to see game designers put into console games. I hate ‘Game Over‘ screens, I prefer “Continue at your leisure‘ games.

I thought it was something back in ’09, but give them a while and they really did a fantastic job. The game is accessible to almost everyone, considering that there’s no dialogue instructions or need for sound to play. Blind gamers will be sadly out of luck due to this lack of audio instructions, and the fact that you need to be able to see the puzzles to complete the worlds, but overall, it’s accessible which is a great thing. There’s definitely a sense of losing yourself though, which can be a bummer for some gamers. The lack of light in levels can cause you to fall off into the vast black spaces, or cause you not to be able to see the full map of where you need to get to.

I need a little Closure in my life.

One aspect that I really loved was the idea of having multiple characters in multiple worlds, so each world advancement, your character gains a new persona to aid it through the light defying levels. I love this game and quite honestly, I’ll probably be buying the full game the moment I have enough to splurge on it. You should definitely check this game out if you’re a puzzle fiend, are into artsy games, and you love deep, enjoyable indie game experiences – Closure is most definitely for you.

Aside from a few minor down points this game is all upside, and I’m totally endorsing it as a highly accessible game that, when you get the opportunity, everyone should try out. I can’t wait for the game to come to PC and Mac so more players can try it out, but if you’re hankering for a wonderfully immersive and innovative puzzle game give yourself some Closure at the price of $14.99 on PSN – or you know play the free demo before you go splurge that cash on an awesome game.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some light bending to do and some puzzles to thwart…

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