It’s dark out. Lightning’s flashing through the window and the wind is whipping leaves off their branches, but the house is strangely silent. Muffled as if covered by a blanket. You sit in your room with the lights off and the headphones plugged in, a comforter draped around your shoulders. The screen’s too bright and you can’t see the doorway, and you’re almost positive you heard something move even through the music you’re listening to. Did your door just open for a second?
You squint to see, you dim your screen, but the door is closed. Suddenly you start thinking about all those shadowy nothings your mind once convinced you were real, the thoughts that made you hide your head under your pillow. Only now reality has warped them and made them less like beasts and more like that man with the shaved head and leather jacket you pass by twice a week on the subway. He’s about the right size to make the floorboards creak the way they just did. You can’t remember the last three songs you’ve listened to or why you keep sitting in that chair in front of that screen, but you know that no matter what were to come through that door you’d still not get up.
That’s what playing Closure is like. Some of you may find it a little melodramatic but with the lights off and the headphones in, the gothic all encompassing creep-iverse that is Closure will put chills in your spine.
Remade for Mac, Windows, Linux, and PSN from the popular Newgrounds flash game by developer Eyebrow Interactive, a three man team made up of Tyler Glaiel, Chris Rhyne, and Jon Schubbe, Closure brings a fresh perspective to the platformer genre. Perspective, after all, is what you need to make a platformer new and exciting. Jumping across platforms and solving puzzles are the bare bones schematic of the genre, but to make a new platformer worth talking about it needs to give the user a new lens through which to see the platforms. Braid gave us time, Fez showed us what happened when 3-d physics were used in a 2-d world, and now Closure has given us light and dark.
The use of light and dark are the keys to solving the puzzles in the game. As the main character you walk through a black and white world where the only things that are the real are those that are in the light. A wall that keeps you from passing through the level ceases to exist if it has no light on it, but that’s also true for the ground you stand on. Assume for a second that the platform you just walked across is still there and you’ll find yourself starting the level over in frustration.
But that’s what we come to puzzlers for–they’re puzzling. And Closure doesn’t disappoint with close to a hundred levels as well as a dark, not immediately obvious story subtly guiding the player through some of the creepiest levels you’ve ever seen. In my opinion, the best stories are the ones you have to figure out for yourself and believe me, you are going to be raking the facts over in your head for many hours after you’ve turned off the game.
There is just one pitfall to the game, but it is only temporary. There is an error with the game when it comes to playing on computers with integrated graphics and some of the puzzles become unsolvable. This is because the lights, which the game relies on to work, become dimmed and can’t accomplish what the code asks of them. The developers are working on a solution right now, but I wasn’t content with waiting around for them to finish and so I went off on my own to find a solution. I never want to wait to play a good game. There is a way to fix this problem and we’ve posted a solution here.
Aside from that minor hiccup which, let’s face it, almost every game coming out these days has a few of, the game is one of the reasons why I continue buying Humble Indie Bundles. The developers really poured themselves into this one to make it the vision they had, and it’s a good ‘un. If you’re looking for a fresh puzzle platformer then look no further, this game will give you all you need for the next 15+ hours of playtime.