Reviewed by Ricky
Publisher – Ant Workshop
Developer – Ant Workshop
Category – Platformer, Puzzle, Arcade
Release Date – Sept 28, 2017
Binaries for Nintendo Switch takes an interesting approach on the new subgenre of puzzle platformer where you control two characters at once.
In Binaries for Nintendo Switch, you have a blue dot, and an orange dot. To beat the level, you must navigate your way through obstacles to the respective colors goals. Each color dot has one half of each level that represents their color, and their goal is always at the end of each of their colored levels. To complicate things, there are spikes and projectiles of the respective colors that can harm them. If one dot is destroyed (one hit knockout), than you fail. Fortunately, those obstacles only affect the appropriate color- so the blue dot can go across orange spikes, and the orange dot can withstand a hit from a blue projectile.
This has been a very basic description of the trials that await, but I really don’t think that I could have made it a much more colorful description. Despite this simple gameplay concept, the execution is very enjoyable. The developers have divised all kinds of clever and sinister ways to make reaching the goal as difficult as possible. Oftentimes you will find yourself figuring out how to get the blue dot to its goal, but getting the orange dot into the orange goal at the same time is much more of a challenge when they move in tandem. This is especially complicated by your ability to only move left, right, and jump. There is no way to lock one in place while you move the other, and you have to learn how to effectively shift your focus from one dot to the other.
Thankfully, the game does a great job at pacing the difficulty of each puzzle so that you are first introduced to an obstacle in an easy to manage challenge, and then the next level steps it up a notch. Every few levels, you will be given a rather easy puzzle to get a bit of a mental break. However, these easier levels aren’t always easy at first glance, and you may find yourself dying a few times unnecessarily before you see the obvious solution. As I mentioned before, learning how to alternate your focus is crucial, and the best beginning advice that I can give is to always pay attention to whichever dot is in the most immediate danger. This is often more difficult to do the further along you get, but it’s this intense shifting of focus that keeps the game refreshing and addictive. You learn from your mistakes pretty quickly, and any seasoned puzzle platformer aficionado will start to recognize the solution moves in advance like a chess pro.
Another nice thing is that the game offers a choice in how you progress through the puzzles. Once you’ve completed the first few levels that act as tutorials, you are given the option between multiple paths to follow along adjacent circles. If one puzzle gets to be too frustrating, you can always back out and try a different path.
Binaries is slowly becoming one of my favorite puzzle platformers for the Nintendo Switch.
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