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EDGE for Mac Review

Developer: Mobigame

Price: $6.99 (£4.99)

Description: A Simple Platformer From a New Perspective

App Store Link

Fullscreen Support

Mouse Support

File Size

Launch Date

Required Specifications

Yes

All (Keyboard
Control)

63.7 MB——-

18th August
2011

None Specified

Rating

Pros: Stunning presentation, incredibly well executed, accessible for everyone.

Cons: Small control issue.

Review

In the case of EDGE, less really is more. EDGE is an extremely simple, yet impeccably well executed, puzzle platformer that really takes the genre to a whole new level. It’s sleek, it’s challenging and is unlike anything I have ever seen before.

Originating from the iPhone and iPod Touch screen, EDGE places you in control of a cuboid. Set in a world consisting of just white and grey blocks, you need to roll around each level with the simple aim of reaching the multicoloured finishing square. But it is EDGE’s bizarre and off-the-wall premise that makes it so unique. Despite playing as a lifeless and emotionless object, EDGE has so much character and personality. Instead of this emanating from the protagonist, in this case, its the environment that comes into its own.

Each environment you come across in EDGE is almost a living entity. The platforms undulate. They surge and heave, they fly across each expansive level almost chaotically, yet very controlled. This movement can be caused by either a press of an in-game button, an invisible trigger or constantly in a repeating fashion. But the way that they pulsate and change formation in a uniform and organised manner makes it seem like they are one living organism. This forges an odd relationship between you and the surfaces you stand on with the blocks sometimes helping you achieve your goals, and other times blocking your way.

Navigating this isometric mayhem brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘platformer’. Fast reactions and quick thinking are key to EDGE especially as the area around you is transforming constantly. Yet despite this, EDGE never seems to get over-the-top hard. Watching the trailer may make you dizzy with the crazy level designs that seem impossible to figure out, but actually playing EDGE is not nearly as difficult as it first seems. Don’t get me wrong, EDGE is a challenging puzzle platformer, but it relies more on surprise attacks to knock you off course than the player needing some sort of platforming prowess and extreme dedication. If a block suddenly comes out of nowhere and takes you out, you simply have to take that into account next time you’ll be fine. The fact that EDGE constantly saves your position so you are normally only a few blocks away from where you fell means that death is not a nuisance, rather an educational tool. Something you can learn from. As a result, EDGE rarely gets frustrating but still retains that moment of satisfaction when you reach the end of a difficult level.

As you progress, you come across more mechanics in EDGE, such as being able to balance on the edge of another block and shrinking yourself so you can get to previously impossible-to-reach places. Each level is masterfully created and seems to focus on one mechanic or ideal to get into the player’s heads.

But for those looking for a harder challenge, EDGE accommodates that as well. To unlock the last four levels, you need to collect all of the prisms scattered around each level and trust me (which I highly recommend you doing). Plus, if you’re really keen you can try and perfect your runs through each level in a good time and. There are hidden short-cuts that you must find to help improve your score.

In the transition from iPhone to Mac, obviously the game’s controls had to be tweaked. I found using a keyboard to move your block worked really well, and actually made navigation effortless compared to EDGE’s mobile counterpart. Balancing is ten times easier now that you have the arrow keys at hand. I managed to balance for almost 60 seconds one time, and if you ever played EDGE on the iPhone, you’ll know exactly how hard that was. On the other hand, since the camera is positioned at diagonals from your block, the arrow keys don’t seem to be paired right with the direction the block moves. For example, when I press ‘up’ I assume the block will move diagonally north-west, but instead it’s programmed to move north-east. The same goes for all the other arrow keys. This has sparked quite a debate amongst my friends as one agrees with me in that the controls feel off, whereas the other states that the controls feel perfectly natural to him. An option to ‘invert’ the controls would make it control friendly for everyone because even though I did get used to the navigation after a while, it really felt odd at first.

EDGE looks absolutely fantastic. Despite being basically colourless beside the finish blocks, your cube and the prisms you collect, its crisp and clean textures makes EDGE a joy to watch. You can’t fault the music either with a range of retro-inspired, yet deeply original, tracks to listen to while you play. It’s overall presentation is flawless.

EDGE includes 48 normal levels (ported from the iOS version) as well as 10 bonus levels. If this doesn’t rid your hunger for some great puzzle-platforming, there is an ‘EDGE Extended’ DLC coming out soon that will be free for all Mac App Store EDGE owners which will include a further 40 levels and some other features. Even though you may be taken aback by EDGE’s $6.99/£4.99 price point, it’s totally worth it for what you get.

Finding something that doesn’t feel part of the same old crowd, that doesn’t feel inspired by something we have seen plenty of times before, is a rare thing in the games industry. EDGE is incredibly simple yet just so ingenious. No matter what your tastes are, EDGE is guaranteed to please you one way or another. Go get it.

Gameplay Video

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