In Between – My Puzzle Nightmare
I received a free copy of the game “In Between” by Gentlymad Games in exchange for an honest review. The review embargo was lifted June 1, and the game is available for purchase on Steam and XBox One platforms.
“In Between” is a unique puzzle platformer game. It combines an interesting narrative with each puzzle level that tells the story of the life of a man about to die. Gravity, light, darkness, speed, and time all play into the mechanics of the game and are applied in varying amounts to each level’s puzzle. As you approach different parts of the puzzle, you will hear the narrative of the protagonist as you listen to him tell the story of his life from childhood to shortly before his death (the point at which you begin playing).
Perhaps I was the wrong person to review this game because I am horrible at puzzle platformers. As much as I enjoyed “Unravel” I still can’t get past the fourth level, and this was little different. The difficulty level is very high, and I found myself very frustrated playing it. Puzzles are not my strength in gaming. I am certain that people who do enjoy them, however, will find the challenges extremely fun and entertaining. Dealing with encroaching darkness, tiles that only move certain ways when you walk a certain way, and the ways you can play with gravity are both challenging and fun.When I did solve a puzzle, I felt no small amount of gratification. The artwork of the game was gorgeous; each screen was hand painted and the music was both enchanting and haunting. It is also worth noting that if you did enjoy the music you can download the soundtrack for free at Gentlymad’s Band Camp page.
While the game has won several awards, I can only recommend it to those who enjoy the puzzle platform genre. The difficulty may be too prohibitive for an entry-level player, and, while I am usually inept at these games to begin with, I was unable to even complete the tutorial levels without using a skip ahead option. That said, I did enjoy the hour or so that I played it; the challenge was frustrating, which made success that much more rewarding, but someone unfamiliar or new to the genre may be put off by it.
I’m not really sure how to rate this by our usual standards, so I’ll give it a 3 out of 5 star rating. Challenging, with great art and sound, unique level design and game mechanics, “In Between” will test anyone that wants to take a crack at it.