PEGBRJE: cityglitch and ALL-STARS DUNGEONS AND DIAMONDS
Get the blood pumping, we have puzzles and split screen.
cityglitch is a magical puzzle game made by Mind Fungus, a collection of friends and devs who make mini games together. In this title, players follow the story of an unnamed individual who is working towards releasing all of the glitches within this haunted city by activating the mysterious glyphs on the rooftops. How does one do that? Well, by solving some puzzles!
cityglitch follows a system in which players are put onto a 5x5 grid on top of a skyscraper with specific maroon relics on the board. These need to be stood on by the hero to activate them, and when all of them are on the map clears and the tower is secured. To do this, players will move in one of the 8 directions to a point — this isn’t like the ice puzzles in which players will automatically slide to the edge, they can pick where they wish to go. Upon their move completing, any ‘enemy’ elements on the board will move shortly afterwards, such as the spooky ghost skulls or dark angry sliding beings. Being in the path of these traps will destroy the hero, which restarts the map automatically. There are some exceptions such as the scaredy cats, who move away from the player when they get within a square. Unlike most interactions, the cats move shortly after the player does and are considered part of the player’s ‘action’, so they can be used to block enemies before they move.
This interaction makes up the most of cityglitch, as the hero attempts to solve each puzzle the best they can to clear off the skyscraper. There is some hidden incentive to redo levels as well, with players noticing that completing each building will yield a red or blue icon colour change, in which one means that the player was able to win in the fewest possible turns. While it may not seem like much, it will drive certain players a bit mad trying to figure out where they overused moves.
This combined with the fantastic art direction creates a simply effective title that builds upon its foundation. Each puzzle unlocks more that increase the difficulty and creativity, between understanding how the skulls and cats move or proper timings for the sliders. Combined with the static objects blocking paths and making it difficult to move freely, and that skulls/cats can ‘claim’ glyphs for themselves and the need for spatial awareness is huge. Plus, this game can be played on mobile! Always helpful for titles that can be played on the go. If you enjoy spatial puzzles that feel like they have a solid difficulty curve, this is one to try out.
ALL-STARS DUNGEONS AND DIAMONDS, stylized as ASDAD, is a competitive arcade title made by GiantEnemyLabs, an indie company out of Chile. Players will go head to head in a treasure hunting match, placed within a region to see who can collect the most treasure. Losers may find themselves in dire straits.
The core that makes ASDAD so much fun is in the approach of competitive ‘versus’. Players technically cannot interact with each other in the traditional sense, as running into each other does nothing. This means no body-blocking the opponent to stop them from running past and collecting the gems if they are faster. Instead, however, players will be able to collect up to 4 powerups while they explore, dropped seemingly at random within chests that spawn behind the player (most likely thanks to the gem pick ups). I related them to the powerups in Mario Kart, where some will effect the enemy via slowing them, freezing or confusing them, or may give a temporary boost to the player. Confusion is by far the most taxing to work against, as it completely flips the controls around making running a tedious affair. Items do give a bonus to a player’s score so ignoring them in favour of collecting more gems is not a sound strategy, which I learned the hard way after getting doubled by an AI. It takes a bit of getting used to, mostly thanks to the controls not always being as responsive as I would’ve liked, but one I understood the slight delay it was a cinch to get into the groove.
ASDAD has quite a lot more customization than I was expecting, personally. While the characters themselves don’t change the gameplay, there are unlockables that feature other indie titles within to give a slight nod. The maps are static, but there are enough of them to give variation — such as the Haunted Graveyard giving less vision due to the darkness. Playing more will give more options for game modes and maps, meaning more crazy shenanigans can occur while within.
It’s a small experience, but it’s full of different modes, experiences and fun times to be had. If you only have yourself to play, I can confirm that the AI isn’t incompetent as it took me more than one try to beat it. If you have a friend and wish to go head to head but don’t want to worry about excessive violence, this is definitely the title to try out.
Links I think
fly to haunted cities land on rooftop puzzles click to move across tiles bewitch cats dodge arrows avoid city spooks…