Newton in Escher's world. Manifold Garden Review

Newton in Escher's world. Manifold Garden Review 4 hours ago | Review | Computer and mobile games

Manifold Garden is a game that shows an example of what gravity could be in the scene with folded Paris from the movie “Inception”. Moreover, this is presented in the style of paintings by the artist M.K. Escher.

Rainbow vector

Manifold Garden (“MG”) is a puzzle adventure game. The closest examples are Antichamber and Portal. The bottom line is, using the orientation of the 6-sided plane, find the correct cube and open the path further. Each side of the world has its own color: green, blue, yellow, red, orange and purple. At the same time, there are simply no clear directions, such as up or down, north or south, in the game.

Each plane has its own separate gravity. If the player is on the purple plane, then the whole world will have gravity relative to the same purple plane. Cubes have corresponding colors. This means which specific plane this cube belongs to. If it is blue, then it can be taken by the player or have gravitational weight only if the player himself is in the blue plane. In other cases, the blue cube will be part of a wall or hang in the air.

Newton in Escher's world. Manifold Garden 1 review

All MG tasks are based on different variations of “put an“ X ”color cube in the corresponding slot.” From time to time, they are diluted with related tasks, such as the direction of rays (in this game, streams), portals, moving blocks or two-color cubes. But the weight of objects, inertia and other physical delights in the game are not. And thank God.

Ecochrome at maximum speed

A distinctive feature of MG is precisely the environment. The game designer has recreated the illusion of space infinity. As soon as the player is selected from the first rooms of the level, endless spaces of identical designs open up to him. And, getting off the cliff, he sets off on an endless flight. At any time, you can land on any convenient platform, but in the end it turns out that the minimum distance was covered, and the player ended up on the next one, or on the same platform from which he initially jumped. The point is that the world is a small game section, raised to infinity. Moreover, from all 6 sides.

Newton in Escher's world. Manifold Garden 2 review

Sometimes, because of this, another puzzle is added to the game “where the hell is there to go?” Even though the sections would separate from each other and, in principle, the levels were made intuitive enough, navigation to the target was a little difficult. Nothing criminal, but you can get lost. Nevertheless, the beauty of the open sections is amazing. Coupled with an ambient and vaporwave soundtrack, some people may get aesthetic pleasure in finding the right path or solving a problem while hanging in the air. There are various types of structures – from abstract steles, stairs and blocks to monolithic skyscrapers and oriental pagodas. There is also a photo mode. I hear he's popular these days.

Euclidean nightmare

For the most part, MG is a relaxing puzzle game. Going through it, I never once had the thought that the developer wanted my mental death, as it was, for example, in The Witness (although I love him, many tasks make me howl). MG is a fairly straightforward and intelligible puzzle, despite its seeming cumbersomeness. Each room has a task that is extremely clear to solve. And the additional elements described above only dilute the main puzzle or complement it. But they do not pull the blanket over themselves or turn into a medley of all mechanics at once. And after completing the game for the first time, I was even surprised that there were no frankly dubious sections in it.

Newton in Escher's world. Manifold Garden 3 review

However, upon learning that MG has an alternate playthrough, I realized that it was not so simple. And this alternative passage is already a real challenge. But not logic or orientation on the ground, but a challenge to common sense. In short, here you need to use cubes from different tasks among themselves in completely different parts of the world. And it is so unobvious and primly implemented that horror. A similar anti-example is the stars from Talos Principle. And if in Talos there are logical hints about their extraction and suitable tools, then here I just have no idea how people guessed before. I do not recommend such bullying to anyone. Unless masochists or achiv hunters. But for the latter, there is a (separate boiler) video walkthrough on YouTube.