Developed and published by Matter Games Reflectile is an upcoming 2D Indie puzzle game. In this perplexing puzzler, you must guide a small dot around a series of increasingly complex mazes to reach the goal. Each level has a unique challenge which will push not only your reflexes but your brain power to the limits.
Typically Ol’ Chris doesn’t really cover puzzle titles here on Keengamer. However, I have to say that Reflectile has been a fun title to preview. And whilst I have had a few problems with it due to what feels like rather sticky controls I have to say that it holds a great deal of promise if a few issues can be ironed out or at least managed. But with that said let’s get to the preview!
Reflectile is currently crowdfunding with a Kickstarter open at the time of writing. A demo is available to download on Itch.io and Steam.
Story – Write Turn
As is often the case with titles this early into development Reflectile doesn’t really have a story of which to speak. This isn’t a bad thing as quite honestly I don’t think it needs one. Whilst there is a tutorial that is decently written and has a decent level of personality I’m not sure if it needs more than that. Still, as I say what we do get is good for what it is. As is often the case with previews like this I pivot from the quality of the writing to how it is presented.
And I have to say that the text and the font that is used for it is perfectly fine. I must admit that I did struggle to read some of the text within the tutorial. This is due to it having a very stylised pixelated look to it. Which whilst neat was something I had issues with. Though that could easily be a dyslexia thing more than anything else. In all, the writing in Reflectile has been decent enough and was more than enough for this preview. And I look forwards to seeing what else can be done with it.
Gameplay – Reflectile For A While
As explained in the intro to this preview in Reflectile you guide a small dot around a series of mazes. Each one has its own tricks and challenges that you must overcome. You guide the projectile by reflecting it around the level with your controller (hence the title). The game is split into several themed worlds and each world contains several levels you need to defeat. In the demo, there are two worlds each with ten levels.
I won’t lie to you, dear reader. I have mixed feelings about Reflectile’s gameplay. On the one hand, when it is in full flow it is a hell of a lot of fun and makes for a great challenge that gets almost addicting at times. On the other, it can be frustrating. And this ultimately is a result of the controls not being as tight at times as I think that they should be. Not for the type of game that this is.
As previously explained your goal is to guide the little block to the goal zone in every level. Navigating a range of obstacles and tricks in your wake. Reflectile is a game that requires great reflexes and good muscle memory to get through them. And once again, when it works, it works amazingly well. Even if you muck a puzzle up you can quickly restart it and resume your progress. However, I can’t help but feel that many of the mistakes that I faced were the result of iffy controls. More specifically controls that are slow and unresponsive.
I have used a controller as well as a keyboard and mouse and just keyboard. And whilst the keyboard and mouse feel more responsive it does feel as though there is a second or two before the game registers a command. This isn’t helped by the fact it feels like you need to wait for the directional arrow on your block to swing around to whichever direction you are pressing before it will allow you to go in that direction.
Now long-time readers of KeenGamer will know I have no issue with trial-and-error-based gameplay. I’d rather have to redo a section a few times to get it right than get my hand held through it. With that said when I play again I want to play it, not feel as though I am fighting against it. Which sadly feels the case sometimes. And given the difficulty curve for each word can get rather steep rather quickly it adds a layer of challenge that shouldn’t be there.
Though with that said, that is something that can be tweaked closer to release. But in the meantime you can lower the difficulty to slow things down. When the game works well it others a thrilling level of challenge. Commanding not just quick reflexes but also a sharp mind. With the variety of puzzles and courses that you must figure out each level has a unique feel to it that keeps the title fresh.
Whilst I will admit that Reflectile has been at times a frustrating title to preview, I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t enjoyed it. And with a few tweaks, it could make for a great puzzle title. Honestly, I’m rather amazed at the sheer variety and thought that has gone into the puzzles included thus far. And I’m excited to see exactly how it can be expanded upon. As, issues aside, it feels rather a feature complete as is.
Of course, the issues that I do have with the current build are things that can be easily altered and tweaked closer to the final release. And your mileage may vary. Either way, if you are curious then you can always download the demo and see for yourself. It can be a terribly hard game at times, but you can always come back to a puzzle later if you find them stressful.
Graphics & Audio – Bounce!
As you will have noticed from the screenshots used in this review thus far Reflectile uses a pixel art artstyle. It is all minimalist in nature. With each level having its own theme, and a colour pallet to go with it. This creates some good-looking levels that are pleasing to the eyes but also functional. Each level is easy to read. With it being clear where to go, as well as what is an obstacle and what is just a decorative element.
The title as a whole seeks to evoke a look and feel of puzzle titles of the early to mid-2000’s. To be honest dear reader I never played much of them back then (they weren’t my bag) so I can’t vouch for how well or not it manages to recreate that look. But as a game in its own right. It still looks great in my opinion.
Block Rocking Beats
Reflectile‘s soundtrack is one of the strongest elements of it. With each world featured has their own themed soundtrack. And I think it is safe to say this is an element that will carry over to the main title. Each track featured helps to give a sense of place to the level’s theme. As well as give you a fun soundtrack for what you’re up to.
As a whole Reflectile looks and sounds great and from that point of view has made it a joy to Preview. A great deal of effort and passion has been put into that side of development. But then that can easily be said about almost everything with the title as a whole. This is a well-made game, and whilst I do have a few issues here and there I do look forwards to seeing how it can be developed further.
Reflectile was previewed on PC.