Introducing the upcoming game Squirgle
Squirgle is a colorful puzzle game in which the player performs–among other things–abstract, non-base-10 calculations. The abstraction stems from the fact that the player isn’t explicitly working with numbers, but shapes instead; each of these shapes, however, is analogous to a number.
For instance, a point = 1, a line = 2, a triangle = 3, a square = 4, and so on; the number each shape represents is determined by the number of vertices it possesses. In every mode of play, the player is tasked with constructing randomly generated shapes using their inputs and non-base-10 addition. If the player is in base-4, for example, they will have four different inputs: point, line, triangle and square; if the player is in base-5, they will have five different inputs: point, line, triangle, square and pentagon (the inputs at the player’s disposal are determined like this all the way up to base-9/nonagon). The game’s difficulty increases markedly from one base to the next.
Also of note is the fact that every game ends with the player “zooming” through all the shape’s they have constructed in a manner reminiscent of certain VR titles and 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite” sequence. While Squirgle certainly encourages muscle memory and fast input, the player should still be careful, as every incorrect input has an appropriate penalization.
- Squirgle: The primary mode of play. In this mode, the player is given a limited amount of time (represented by white timelines on the left side of the screen) to amass as many points as possible while the game’s background cycles through a number of different colors (represented by square color swatches on the left side of the screen). It is in the player’s best interests, however, to increase the amount of time they have to play, and this is done via color coordination.
- Whenever the player is prompted for a shape to construct from their inputs, they are actually being prompted for a series of two shapes (represented by shapes in the upper left corner of the screen). Whenever the player correctly constructs a shape from their inputs, that target shape’s color is set to that of the background at the time of construction. This is where strategy comes into play, as the player can opt to “hold off” on correctly constructing target shapes in order to wait for the first target shape’s color to come around again. Construct both target shapes with the same color, and the player is then prompted to construct a Squirgle, which is simply a square and triangle separated by a circle.
- Once the square and triangle have been successfully constructed from the player’s inputs, all the timelines are reset, affording the player more time to rack up points. No game can go on ad infinitum, though, since the speed at which the timelines deplete is constantly increasing little by little. This is also the only game mode by which the player can unlock higher bases and their associated music tracks.
- Battle: This is a competitive mode of play in which the player may compete against either an AI opponent or a friend via the game’s local multiplayer option. The rules for this mode are roughly the same as those of Squirgle except the player’s goal isn’t to rack up points, but to increase their opponent’s Burst meter; this is done by constructing shapes as one would in Squirgle mode. It’s of note, however, that the timelines can’t be reset in Battle mode, and constructing Squirgles instead increases your opponent’s Burst meter by a larger amount than regular shape construction, while also lowering your Burst meter in the process.
- Time Attack: This is played much like Squirgle mode, except there is no color coordination mechanic. It’s a black-and-white mode of play in which the goal is simply to rack up points by constructing shapes from inputs without having to worry about the strategy inherent in color coordination, thus making it an ideal arena in which the player may hone their non-base-10 calculation skills in intervals of 1, 3 or 5 minutes.’
- Time Battle: This is exactly the same as Time Attack mode, except the player is competing against either an AI opponent or a friend via the game’s local multiplayer option. The goal is simply to get as many points from shape construction as possible, the victor being determined by whoever has more points come time out.
- Trance: This isn’t a gameplay mode, per se, but rather a means by which the player may casually listen to the game’s music while “zooming” through a never-ending sequence of shapes.
- I’ve commissioned unknown musician, NaN, to compose the soundtrack to the game, and he’s done a wonderful job of capturing it’s visual aesthetic aurally. Among his self-proclaimed influences are such artists as Joy Division, Ulrich Schnauss, David Wise, Ween and Yo La Tengo. In the grand scheme of things, I find that the allure of unlocking the game’s next music track is every bit as enticing as unlocking the next base.
- Releasing on Tuesday, June 26th on the App Store, Google Play and Steam for $2.99. Will also be available on the developer’s website via a pay-what-you-want model.
Squirgle Trailer Links
Check out the game’s link page
Date published: 26/06/18
Written by: Joseph Opoku
Source: (1) Planar Gazer
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