And Yet It Moves Review
And Yet It Moves (or AYIM) is the brain child of the indie developer Broken Rules. Released on the PC but since ported over to the Wii, AYIM is a puzzle platformer with a very unique feature: You can rotate the world around the character.
Obviously you still control you character in the usual way: forwards, backwards and jump, but at the same time you can spin the whole world in 90 degree increments around the player. This means that if you come across a 20 foot high, unclimbable cliff you can just rotate the world until the once impassable obstacle has become no more taxing than a quick walk to the end of the street. This mechanic allows for a more intelligent type of puzzle, especially as the player maintains momentum through the rotation, so you can’t just throw yourself off platform and hope for the best. The control scheme for AYIM is very simple: WASD to move the player and the arrow keys to rotate the world. This sounds very easy but it does take a little amount of time to master, as I found myself accidentally walking off the edge of a platform rather than turning the world 90 degrees to the left. However, after 10 minutes I was over the initial clumsiness and could concentrate on the puzzles themselves.
I think I saw this in a film once. . .
The puzzles themselves are mixed fair, with lots of your standard run-jump-avoid-death type areas, yet because of the way that you navigate the challenges, spinning them around you like a plaything, you don’t realise that you have done this all before. But the game also has other, more suited puzzle. In one section of a level, there is a money sitting at the top of a tree blocking the way and a pile of bananas at the bottom. You have to get a banana to the top of the tree by frantically spinning the level to prevent the fruit from touching any of the tree’s branches too often otherwise it squishes and you have to try again. In another section you have to use a demonic guinea pig to break down a number of obstacles, all the time trying to avoid his angry charges in a set of narrow tunnels. The puzzles won’t keep you occupied for very long, but if you do mess up there are regular checkpoints throughout the level so frustration is kept to a minimum.
There is no denying how good this game looks at times.
AYIM has one of the most eye-catching and unique art styles I have even seen. Designed so that the game looks like a giant collage, with each individual part of the level looking like it wa ripped out of a larger picture. Even the player character is striking to look at: a very basic pencil sketch of a person and yet it was this very basic design that made it so easy to project myself onto this character. Each one of the 17 levels is filled with rocks, trees and the occasionally one of the aforementioned monkeys but the art style works well, obvious enough to make the game very striking to look at but restrained enough that it doesn’t start interfering with gameplay.
Unfortunately, AYIM does have a bit of a lifespan problem. The game only has the 17 levels and with no collectibles to hunt, the game is more of a example of what Broken Rules can do when they put their mind to it. There are online scorboards if you want to compare your level times, as well as the occasional community competition and a handful of achievements to aim for, but these will only appeal to the most hardcore of fans.
I would defiantly recommend And Yet IT Moves to anyone, whether you are a hardcore gamer looking for a break from something more demanding or someone who is just getting into gaming. Broken Rules have taken an often used concept and make something beautiful from it.