English Country Tune Review
- Intuitive goals with almost no direction.
- Swiping controls a breeze to play around a puzzle with.
- Variety of puzzle types as the game continues.
- Soothing soundtrack.
- Could use a zoom in function.
- A lot of the puzzles are very fiendish and will frustrate some players.
A game for the hardcore puzzle lover. Don't let the ease of design, control, and goal fool you, sooner or later this game will have you tearing your hair out. The sense of satisfaction when a particularly hard level is bested however, is unrivaled.
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This game came to our attention via an article in the New Yorker about ultra difficulty in games. In some ways its easy to see why English Country Tune was one of the focuses of the piece. What we have here is an abstract puzzle game with little to no direction, that should appeal to hardcore puzzle aficionados. What about the rest of the gaming populace however? Well you may be intrigued by what's on offer here.
The first world of the game, 'larva' revolves around putting the spherical larvae into their nesting holes. You control a flattened square that flips over the level's surfaces end over end, whacking larvae around as you travel. Soon gravity and three-dimensional surfaces enter the equation, and the puzzles slowly increase in difficulty.
If you manage to complete the first world (which isn't too hard if you play around and are enjoying yourself), new worlds will open up, each with a different type of gameplay. For instance the 'Whale' universe involves pushing blocks by the beams of light emitted from them, and another universe has you covering the entirety of the level's surface in shrubs. While the first universe had hints to guide you, as you progress into the game, you must rely more and more on your own sense of experimentation and mental prowess.
And playing around is incredibly easy thanks to the intuitive swiping control scheme. Things can sometimes get confusing because of what surface your paddle is situated on, but all directional swiping is related to the default camera position, so you'll never find yourself moving the wrong way (and if you do, the undo and restart buttons are easily accessible).
English Country Tune is definitely an interesting one. While not starting off too taxing, it's lack of clear goals and fiendish design will most likely infuriate those that are not puzzle fanatics. Still, this is one of those games that gives you an immense amount of satisfaction when you finally solve that one problem that was plaguing you for ages, and that might be worth the price of entry alone.
Description"[...] crafted with unusual abstraction and fierce intelligence." - Edge Magazine
"Who knew, it seems to ask, that your mind could be at home in such strange places?" - The New Yorker
Excellence In Design nominee for the 2012 Independent Games Festival
A luxuriant abstract 3D puzzle game, wherein the player explores many different rules and mechanics over 17 diverse worlds, each with their own objectives.