I’ve been browsing through the reviews of Crayon Physics Deluxe. So far it’s all been positive, but I’ve noticed that some of reviewers and players are playing the game strictly as a standard puzzle game and they don’t like the sandboxiness and open ended nature of the puzzles. They don’t like that you can solve the levels any way you like. Which is really a shame, because coming up with creative solutions is what the game is really about. It’s not about finding just any solution or brute forcing it, the game is actually about finding the awesomest solution possible! That’s the reason why there are no limitations or restrictions in the game.
The puzzles in the game don’t have “right solutions” to them, there is no solution that the “designer intended you to take”, anything is possible and hopefully you’ll come up with the best one by yourself. The levels in the game are there to inspire you to be creative (and to teach you how to build up stuff). But it’s all my fault, because I didn’t communicate well enough what the game is really about.
Luckily a lot of the reviewers played the game as it should be played
Here’s some of the reviews that I read:
The concept of risk/reward-based play is absent here; creativity proves to be its own reward. I challenge any one of you not to bellow (or squeal, if that’s more your thing) with glee after constructing a particularly elaborate solve out of crayon lines and curves. That’s really the game’s greatest triumph, allowing players to dictate the course of play using a simple yet powerful set of creation tools.
Many would have overlooked this game, marked it as just a simple, casual game for the casual gamers in the world. The truth is that this game is for anyone. It’s as complex and intelligent as you want to make it. Most of the levels can be beaten within a few minutes after you get the grasp of the situation and get the right angle. However, if you want to spend an hour or more building some Rube Goldberg-type contraption to get to the objective, then that is what you can do. I’m sure there are many people that just don’t understand the point of that.
Score: 9 / 10
What makes Crayon Physics so entertaining is that there are a number of different ways to solve each level, thanks to the fact that no one is going to draw the same things in exactly the same way. It requires players to be creative and solve each puzzle through whatever means they can conceive, as opposed to only having one convoluted method as the only solution.
Crayon Physics works the same way; the obvious route is the least rewarding. It’s just the route to take if you want to complete the level. Instead, if you decide you’re rather create a triple pulley system that allows you to erect an elevated bridge throughout the level, allowing you to glide down it to the star, you’ll be grinning with satisfaction as it all comes to fruition.
Verdict: An excellent game. Buy it.
In any case, don’t let my musings on endless possibility give you the wrong impression; Crayon Physics Deluxe is a must-play. It’s the kind of game I get excited about, because the concept is just so much cooler than the stuff we see every day in gaming.
How about this: Rock, Paper, Shotgun called Crayon Physics Deluxe “Magical”, and said that it was “the first work of independent gaming genius in 2009.” Something like that.
Having your drawings come to life is just wonderful, and when you choose to do something inventive and imaginative, you’ll have a fantastic time.
Score: 7 / 10
Crayon Physics Deluxe is a game full of charm and imagination (you can doodle on the world map!) the likes of which you’ve never, ever seen before.
Score: 8.5 / 10
It looks, feels and sounds like something a 5 year old digipen graduate might come up with, and that is entirely meant as a compliment.
All in all Crayon Physics is a lovingly put together example of what indie gaming is all about and I would recommend it to pretty much anyone.
Score: 4 / 5
This game has endless replayability due to, 1: Endless ways to beat each level, 2: Create your own levels and upload them online, and 3: Download user levels to play for yourself.
Score: 10 / 10
If you know of other reviews, post them in the comments!