The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild’s newest game, Deleveled, takes no prisoners.
To look at it, Deleveled is an incredibly simple game. Made up of a series of lines and boxes, it’s unassuming. Perhaps that design is on purpose; to lure you in with a false sense of security. Because once you start to play this fiendish puzzle game, you’ll realise it’s anything but simple.
In Deleveled, you take control of a pair of squares. One is on the top of the level’s structure, the other is underneath. Both squares move in unison; pushing left or right on your analogue stick will see both squares move in that direction. Sounds easy enough to begin with, right? But as you push on through Deleveled‘s short levels, things soon get more complex.
Despite moving symmetrically, your two squares aren’t on an even playing field. One path may be flat; another may have ledges to jump up or down from, or spikes to avoid. The problem? Your squares can’t jump. Instead, the momentum from one square falling onto the other will cause them both to jump in turn. It’s an easy mechanic to get your head around, but one that’s very tricky to master.
Timing is everything here; you’ll need to ensure you move just at the right time, with your block at the right height, to clear a jump, for example. And you’ll need to ensure you land in just the right place too; as you may well need to transfer the momentum to your other block, to let that one clear an obstacle. It’s tricky to explain, but you can see the game in action in the launch trailer below:
Trial and error quickly becomes your best friend as you’re getting to grips with Deleveled. Expect to fail numerous times until you crack a level. The trouble with that is that you’re rewarded stars for completing a level, and progress is gated by the amount of stars you have. Mess up too many times in a level and you’ll lose your right to a star. So expect to play through levels multiple times until you’re able to do it without making many mistakes. It’s easier said than done.
Despite its simple appearance, Deleveled wants to test you. And test you it will. You’ll need serious patience to crack its tougher levels, but beating them is immensely rewarding. Needless to say, if you’re into quirky puzzle games, you should definitely consider checking it out.
Deleveled launches tomorrow, 10th September, on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.