Previews// Semispheres

Posted 14 Oct 2016 15:25 by
Twin-stick-controlled asymmetric games are becoming increasingly popular. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is the most famous, but Binaries is also a game that was recently released that uses a similar control mechanic.

As I skirted around the Indie Megabooth at PAX West 2016 I happened upon Semispheres, a game that splits its play area into two, with the left side being orange and the right having the distinct hue of cyan.

Semispheres consists of a series of levels that require the player to manoeuvre an orange and cyan coloured spheres into a glowing receptacle within a top-down view maze. This maze is split into two and mirrored (typically) with each ball located in its own respective half.

Unlike Binaries, where the spheres inhabit the same area, Semispheres does not allow for any interaction between the spheres other than to punch a hole into each sphere's realm and interact with it as they do so.

Why would they want to do this? Well in each realm there are sentries. They have a field of view that is represented by a cone that if ventured into by the spheres causes them to be thrown back into their starting position, forcing the player to start over.

The only way to overcome the presence of these sentinels is to distract them. This is done by emitting a sound that can only be made once a sphere passes over an icon in the level. This sound can be transmitted through the portal(s) that bridge the two halves of the level and thus enables one half to distract sentinels in the other half, granting passage to the sphere and negating the sentinels normally unwavering vigilance.

I spent a lot of time with Semispheres and the sense of accomplishment I felt upon solving the increasingly complex puzzles that were presented to me was very pronounced. I'm sure there are a lot more mechanics to Semispheres that I had yet to experience during my time with it, but I look forward to playing it upon its release later this year.


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