What if Sir Isaac Newton and M. C. Escher were contemporaries, friends, and collaborators on a new kind of spacial mathematics?If you now have a vision in your head of weird subjective gravity moving over figures that can't exist in three dimensions, you've got a good idea of what this indie Puzzle Platformer is like.As an Escher look-alike (hereafter referred to as The Professor), you will navigate the strange geometry and curious puzzles of 48 black and white levels that represent fragments of the The Professor's house, and his memories of them.Designed by Ty Taylor and illustrated by Mario Castañeda.Compare Monument Valley and FEZ.Due to the Story Bread Crumbs nature of the game's plot, practically anything written about it is a spoiler.
Tropes in this game include:
- Alien Geometries: The structure of many levels, or of various decorations, resembles Escher's impossible figures. Sometimes it's entirely cosmetic, but other times the impossibility comes into play e.g. in the form of paths which can only be walked onto from one direction.
- Artifact of Doom: The Cube. It warps space, and provides access to a mirror dimension where the distorted geometry of the Professor's house is even more ruined, and there's blood everywhere, some of it used to write strange symbols.
- Close on Title: The title isn't displayed until after completing all four chapters and seeing the ending sequence.
- Deliberately Monochrome: All graphics are in grayscale. Until the very ending, where you revisit the opening scene, but in color this time.
- Expy: The Professor looks like a younger Escher, and his unnamed friend looks like Newton. But the real historical figures lived centuries apart, so they couldn't be the same people... could they?
- Eldritch Location: The Professor's House, particularly the Bridge.
- Gravity Screw: Your primary game mechanic. The Professor can't jump, or even walk up steep slopes, but your ability to rotate the game world as much as you want more than makes up for that. In addition, gravity applies to each object in the game differently, depending on its color - black and white objects (including The Professor) will always fall in opposite directions, and objects that flicker black and white can fall anywhere - their unique gravity can be changed through the use of Veils.
- Gainax Ending: Actually two of them, one for each set of 24 levels. The second one includes an Or Was It a Dream? twist, just to make things more confusing.
- Guide Dang It!: There are six Hidden Wisps the game. Gathering them all earns you an achievement and a picture of The Professor and his friend working on the construction of The Bridge. And odds are you will never find them all without help.
- Mad Mathematician / Mad Scientist: Both The Professor and his friend. It's difficult to say whether they were crazy already, or if working on the Cube made them that way.
- M. C. Escher: Clearly influenced the level design◊.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: Some levels have you controlling two copies of the Professor at once. If they ever come in contact with each other, you get a game over with the cryptic message that you have "sown the seeds of your own demise".
- Prophet Eyes: The Professor's eyes are always entirely white.
- Remixed Level: The latter 24 levels are mirror-reversed versions of the first 24 levels, with additional obstacles thrown in.
- Story Bread Crumbs: Scattered bits of narration are provided by The Professor at the beginnings and ends of chapters. These, plus the various pictures hanging on the walls, provide the only explanation for the game's events.
- They Called Me Mad!: Invoked. The Professor and his friend did not disclose their findings to the larger scientific community because they feared this reaction.