From time to time I cross myself, especially in the wild pebble ecosystem, with games that I do not know if they are great or simply jokes that I do not finish understanding. I met squishcraft through Bennett Foddy, which in his Twitter account [https: //twitter.com/bfod/status/1561454770120183808] wrote: «Squishcraft is so incredibly difficult, haha. Conquering new borders of difficulty in Puzzles Games ». I usually trust Bennett Foddy, so I quickly looked for the game title on Google. His page in Steam [https: //store.steampowered.com/app/2081180/squishcraft/] I was very impacted: his cover is the face of (I supposed) its developer cut and duplicated several times, with the Name of the game written on top, by hand. It squeezes some blocks with others to solve challenging puzzles, says the description. The image gallery is no less disconcerting: a collection of progressively more complex, increasingly incomprehensible levels, with an artistic style that I would not even know how to describe; The only thing that has occurred to me has been to try that this text has a similar, chaotic and infernal touch but (I hope) to which you are little by little you get used to, very much to your regret. Without knowing what to think, more or less at the same time I bought Squishcraft and got into a community of puzzles games that I usually visit in search of novelties and recommendations that may have escaped. Every month a release stands out and they play it and comment; This month was precisely Squishcraft.
Squishcraft is a sokoban puzzles game, of those of pushing blocks by a grid, in which you have to make your avatar, a square in which a circle with the same mask is embedded (which is not that of the developer, but The one of such Dasticks [https: //twitter.com/dasticksvids]) that is on the cover, arrives at the box, is conveniently represented with a flag. To get there you have to push different types of block; The most basic, for example, is a square without any specific property represented by a clumsy drawing of a girl with purple hair and cat ears, badly scribbled on a gray background. The great mechanics of Squishcraft is the Espachurre: if you push two blocks against a wall, they combine forming one, which can not be separated but to move combined. They also combine their properties, in a very visual way: if spoils a normal block against laser beam (a block with an eye from which a sober red line comes out), the combination is little original but mixes the properties of both pieces ; If Espachurras a laser block against one of skewers, the thing is becoming interesting: you have a block that clicks on all sides except one, a change that makes possible things that before the Espachurre were impossible.
With these basic ingredients, and gradually introducing new blocks and new ways of using them in your favor. It is a tremendously difficult game, as Bennett Foddy said, but also one that hides surprises and moments Eureka in each new level. Squishcraft has something very wild and dirty; Of course it is less elegant than Monster’s Expedition or The Witness, and even that Stephen’s Sausage Roll, another game that does not enter through the eyes but soon falls in love with the intelligence of his puzzles. Squishcraft mechanics often seem to be at the limit of what should be possible if we stick to the internal logic of the game, especially when the combinations of lasers and mirrors become especially convoluted; Sometimes it is difficult to know if what you just did have been what the game expected, what you wanted or directly a bug that has error to a solution. But most of the time moves just that way so delicate by which good puzzles games move, always one step ahead of you but never so far that you feel that you don’t understand what you have to do.
A last example for the type of possibilities that Squishcraft explores. If you spuries one block against another, the result is un block, which occupies una box in the grid; But what if Espachurras three, with each other with another? Then the resulting espachurre occupies two boxes, not one, with each of the original blocks occupying a third of the total. In this way, that combination of three blocks can be separated into two, a very reasonable movement when you discover it for the first time (by chance or, as was my case, because you see it in a screenshot) but that the first time I He released a jerk. This simple idea makes some levels that at the beginning it seems that they should be impossible (all!) End up more than solveing.
In the end, Squishcraft stands out for the ease with which he knows how to imagine what the solution is, or at least to something approximate enough to look for a way to execute your idea. It is the usual process of Puzzles games (in my case, combined with countless random movements made nervously, just to think better, I self-tear, and also with false steps constant and countless pulsations of Z and R, The undoing and restart buttons, while looking at the screen surely with my mouth open, although I have never seen myself; if the Squishcraft developer, who responds to the nickname of BCAT112A, could see me, I imagine that his face would be something like this: ), although there are no lovely characters or ingenious texts or precious landscapes to admire or in which to relax the view when you suspect that you are giving more circles of the account to a way to solve the puzzle that is not quite the right 1. The key, in the end, is in the craft part of the title: in what you have to combine blocks until you get the espachurre you need to open such a way, to get a ray to impact such an activator, a surprisingly physical process, as of Rubick’s cube, in which you move and demonstrate blocks thinking about them, in the end, as pieces with which you are riding an object. More than pieces, components: I think it is not in all puzzles, but in more than one there are several possible solutions precisely because of this, something that happens in a few Sokoban games.
->>> I imagine that not everyone will make the sullen Squishcraft the same grace, to the point that I can believe that many people who could otherwise have enjoyed the game very how it looks; The patience that demands (what he said: the long times looking at the screen, thinking about how to carry out the solution that you think you have so clear in your head; it is one of those that leave you the level that you could not finish engraved in memory, To ruminate it when you are far from the computer, in bed, for example: a classic of the thinky puzzle games) fits worse with the sprites rough and aesthetics shitposter than with other more comfortable visual styles. It doesn’t even have to be something the Witness type: even the Low poly raw Roll of Stephen’s Sausage Roll, another that is not beautiful in a classic sense (and whose influence is noticeable in Squishcraft, as in so many others), is friendlier. <<-
It could have been done differently, of course, but this basic visual section is also crucial for Squishcraft If you follow the roll or not. It is an attitude that can be irritant, of course. But I personally find it interesting how in Squishcraft it works as a desperate strategy to make a game without a metaphor, which is pure mechanical, that does not count anything or goes on anything: it is recreated in its own puzzles or seeks to recreate ourselves in them, that we enjoy them simply for their design, an almost completely brain experience. I have my reservations with this way of making video games, but I could possibly express them more convincingly if Squishcraft did not have such good, so well thought out and interesting puzzles; So much, in fact, that they manage to be exciting even if only mechanical, meat without meat, one of the most hot games of the year although it is actually colder than an ice weather. So cold that it is even uncomfortable.
Hard video: Anna Shvets (Pexels)