Video Game: The Floor is Jelly
man has poundered some questions since the beginning of time such as, "what if the floor was made of jelly?"The Floor is Jelly
is an indie platformer developed by Ian Snyder, with sound by Disasterpeace (known for his work on Fez
), and was released on the PC and Mac on January 30, 2014. It was a finalist in IGF 2012.The Floor is Jelly
plays like a typical platformer, where you must guide your character through each level to an exit. What sets this game apart from the others is the fact that the whole world
bounces and wobbles like jelly as you traverse through it.
The game has a website here
, and its own development blog here
. You can watch the launch trailer here
The game is available for purchase from the Humble Store
- Ambiguously Human: The protagonist. It's not established if it's actually human, although it's hinted at in the IGF 2012 trailer, as seen in the quote at the top of the page, as well as the presence of furnished houses in the world.
- Antepiece: There's no in-game tutorials, so first time players may have trouble getting used to the bouncy jelly physics of the game world. Four screens into the game, a jumping frog shows the player how to bounce high by timing their jumps.
- Artistic License – Physics: Furniture would not remain bolted to the floor when the houses they're inside starts wobbling back and forth.
- Author Appeal: Ian Snyder, the developer, is a big fan of FJORDS, another indie developed game. The terminals found inside houses have an OS resembling those in FJORDS, and one of the achievements in the Steam version is titled "U KNO WUT I LUV", with the achievement icon using graphics from that game rather than from The Floor is Jelly like the other achievement icons.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: The Disc One Final Dungeon is set in space, but the protagonist doesn't run into difficulty with breathing. There's even houses built in this environment if you look hard enough before the area starts being eaten away by the game glitching.
- Bizarrchitecture: Houses are built on stilts, and violently bounce about back and forth when the ground underneath them shifts. In addition, the layouts of these houses are randomly generated each time you visit the same secret room, which means if you leave the room a house is located in and then immediately return, it will be a different house note .
- Book Ends: The game began with several blobs of gelatin swirling around before coming together to form the world, while at the end of the game, you end up in an area with the same theme as the first level, before the world starts dissolving away in a similar fashion, starting with the flora dissolving as you run past them before the platforms themselves start dissolving as you jump off them.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you fall into an abyss or hit spikes, you'll immediately return to the entrance of the current room, unless you triggered a Checkpoint in certain rooms, such as changing the room's orientation or obtaining a living key.
- Disturbed Doves: If there are birds in a tree, they'll fly off if the stretch of ground on which the tree is rooted suddenly jiggles.
- Dummied Out:
- There's several unused rooms that can only be accessed by editing the save file. Among others, they feature alternative secret rooms from the Night area featuring jumping frogs and lettering made out of platforms, suggesting they were supposed to be novelty secrets before being replaced with the final secret rooms featuring the houses and their terminals.
- A few of the unused rooms even feature a strange black eyeball creature that floats in place with its white ring-like "pupil" looking towards the player character, and acts as a one way warp to another room when touched. None of these eyeballs are found in the game's finalised areas.
- Easter Egg: If you're in a house with a clock inside it, it will chime at every quarter hour, according to the computer's clock. Furthermore, each time you enter a secret room with a house, if the house generates a clock, it matches the computer's clock at the time you entered the room, but the house's clock does not update over time.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: As the game's title states, the floor acts like jelly.
- Featureless Protagonist: At most, it resembles a tiny blob with legs.
- Frogs and Toads: A couple of amphibians are present, and just like the player character, they interact with the jelly terrain.
- Game-Breaking Bug:
- Very rarely, your character may end up getting trapped inside the terrain, leaving you with no choice but to quit the game and restart it again.
- In The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, if you backtrack through a window at one point, you'll endlessly fall into a Bottomless Pit over and over again upon re-entering the previous room. It is possible to escape, but doing so is practically luck based due to the glitchy jelly physics. To make this worse, this particular room is directly lifted from the opening area, which did hide an entrance to a secret room down there that could only be reached by backtracking from the next room.
- In the initial release, the 100% Completion reward only worked if you have located exactly 30 houses. If you located the last one, it gets locked again. This was fixed for the Steam version.
- Gelatinous Trampoline: With everything acting like jelly, it's also very bouncy.
- Gravity Screw: Being underwater reverses your gravity.
- Guide Dang It:
- Some of the locations of the secret rooms houses are found in qualify. One especially cruel location is in the night area where an entrance to one of the secret rooms is hidden offscreen.
- The "U KNO WUT I LUV" achievement has a very obscure solution that was only found by reverse-engineering the game.
- To get the "&@♥@@p§☺A!○◘@)(@)_—-A" achievement, along with some wacky player physics, you have to finish one of the three levels in the first set on the first time through and then quit the game during a cutscene where one of the three lights appears on the big door in the Hub Level so that you reload with your character placed in said room out of bounds, and then jump at a very specific corner of the screen. Thankfully, this isn't entirely Lost Forever, as there's a repeatable, but much more difficult to execute, method to glitch your way out of bounds in the room.
- Hub Level: The underground caverns acts as a central hub to access the different areas within.
- 100% Completion: Finding 31 secret houses, or rather, the terminals inside them, unlocks the SET command on them that couldn't be accessed previously. This command lets you change how the jelly physics behave by changing the DECAY, POWER and TRANSFER values, similar to the glitchy jelly physics from The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. This does not, however, carry over when returning to the Hub Level, and the new values are not saved either, preventing you from potentially screwing up your save file.
- Jump Physics:
- The protagonist has free control over its movements while in midair, and how high it can jump is determined by how much the ground is currently jiggling underneath it.
- Alone, the protagonist can't jump very high at all as seen with the jelly physics freezing at the end of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon as well as setting the DECAY value from the 100% Completion reward to zero. For the latter, it's very difficult, if not downright impossible, to explore entire levels without the ground being bouncy.
- Last Lousy Point: Finding all 31 houses. There's no indication if you have all of them in a given area, and to make it worse, 6 of them can end up Lost Forever.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: A few reviews spoil the final stages of the game, which involve Ominous Visual Glitches and glitching jelly physics.
- Level Ate: Surprisingly averted, despite the game's title and premise. While the entire world is bouncy and jiggly just like jelly, none of the levels are actually food themed.
- Long Song, Short Scene: "The Last Day", played at the very end of the game, when following the end of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the background objects start dissolving away as you run past them before the platforms themselves start dissolving away as you jump off of them. The song in the soundtrack lasts for 02:59, yet you'll probably only hear the first 30 seconds of it in-game.
- Lost Forever: Six of the houses can be permanently missed in the Disc One Final Dungeon as the hidden entrances to each of their rooms they're found in are blocked off in the post-glitching versions of the rooms they're located in, and the pre-glitching versions of said rooms are no longer available ever again, not even if you revisit the stage again, leaving you to delete your save file and start over if you missed any of them and you want 100% Completion.
- Metroidvania: The game has some elements of this. Each of the game's levels are interconnected to a single hub, and you can freely revisit and backtrack through each level as well. The night level, the second swamp level and the Disc One Final Dungeon plays this more straight in which these levels are more non-linear and has you searching these levels to find several keys that will open a portal leading to the level's exit.
- Mood Whiplash: The Disc One Final Dungeon. It's set in a strange space-like environment with low gravity and no signs of life or plants anywhere, and the entire place is in monochrome save for the glitching blocks that appear as you make progress.
- No Plot? No Problem!: There's no story given, not even on the game's website or development blog. Just you jumping around in a very bouncy world.
- Ominous Visual Glitch: The Disc One Final Dungeon gradually becomes corrupted with flashing glitch blocks as you make progress, and touching them kills your character in the same way as spikes do. The Very Definitely Final Dungeon's background also glitches frequently.
- Planimal: The catflower. The development blog describes it as an "unfortunate species" as it hates rain but yet needs to reside in a climate where it constantly rains to survive.
- Point of No Return: Entering the portal in the Disc One Final Dungeon. After entering the portal, returning to the Hub Level through either the area's entrance elevator or exit has glitch tendrils grow out of it and pull you into The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. After that point, the rest of the game is on a linear course to the ending credits, and you can't just quit in the middle of it as it drops you back to where you currently were. Thankfully, reopening the game after its completion following the credits puts you back outside the entrance to the Disc One Final Dungeon, allowing you to return to the previous areas again, so it's not necessary to delete the save file and start over.
- Remixed Level: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon repeats several rooms from the opening area, which are harder to get through due to the glitching jelly physics.
- Rubbery World: The entire game world, with floors and walls bending and bouncing about as the characters such as the protagonist and frogs interact with them. This flexible world also allows for puzzles that wouldn't be possible in a solid and stable world; one notable puzzle very early in the game has your way seemingly blocked by a wall of spikes, you have to bounce up and down next to it and then use the resulting ripples in the ground to pass underneath it.
- Scenery Porn: Plenty, with autumn leaves drifting across the screen to fireflies floating around a midnight scene, as well as the glow of sunsets. Also, even background objects such as trees and bushes individually sway around as the ground beneath them bends and warps around.
- The living keys have large flowing "scarves" similar to those seen in Journey.
- The elevators that link the areas to the Hub Level seem to resemble the TARDIS.
- All of the terminals have the same header lines as the terminals in FJORDS, a game which Ian has stated that he's fond of.
- Spikes Of Doom: The dark red spiky blobs serves this role. Also the glitch blocks in the Disc One Final Dungeon act like this.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: The protagonist can remain underwater for an indefinite amount of time.
- Time Stands Still: The glitching in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon eventually freezes the physics engine and fish entirely, and even perpetually stalls the background music as well. This is the only time in the entire game the platforms become fully solid and not bouncy.
- Updated Re-release: The Steam version, released on May 30, 2014, features bug fixes, extra secret features, achievements, and cloud saves.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: After returning to the Hub Level from the Disc One Final Dungeon, glitch tendrils grows out of the elevator you came out of and pulls you into the last stage. This final stage features various different "glitchy" jelly physics throughout.
- Video Game Settings:
- Green Hill Zone: The opening area, which interestingly has an autumn theme, has several easy rooms to help the player get accustomed to the bouncy jelly physics of the world.
- Underground Level: Also serves as the Hub Level.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: There's two of them, both of which features water that inexplicably reverses your gravity while submerged.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Which oddly enough, doesn't feature slippery ground, but does feature a special gimmick where platforms only become solid while you're touching one.
- Bleak Level: One level has a bleaker palette than the others, the music is more sombre, and features clouded-over skies while it constantly rains.
- Space Zone: The Disc One Final Dungeon has low gravity, and has no audio other than the ambient music and the glitching noises as the level begins to deteriorate.
- Minus World: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. The background here constantly glitches up, with fish swimming around in mid-air in erratic glitchy patterns, and the jelly physics themselves change to various glitchy behaviours as you make progress.
- Wall Jump: The protagonist can climb up walls by jumping up them, similar to the Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX games.
- Wrap Around: Present in the very last room before the credits.
- When It Rains, It Pours: Rain even causes the ground to violently jiggle with each splash!