Crayon Physics Deluxe

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Crayon Physics Deluxe (demo available)

MSRP: $19.99

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android

Release: 1/7/09


If you’ve ever played any kind of game in a competitive multiplayer environment, you’re probably familiar with the term “meta” as it applies to gaming.  If you’ve ever played an MMO, you know about (and have probably used) a “cookie cutter” build.  These things come about because they work, and most often, because they work better than almost all other available options.

Crayon Physics Deluxe is a sandbox hidden in a game’s clothing.  If you can’t or won’t lose that meta-mindset, you’re going to suck all of the potential for fun right out.  Crayon Physics Deluxe really shines when you’re willing to think outside the box.

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And that’s also its biggest flaw.  If you are just using the most efficient solution, it’s painfully dull, and I think in a lot of ways, that drastically limits its target audience.  Although you’re told before you even fully load into the game that you’re supposed to find the “awesomest” solution, most gamers have been trained to do what works, and what works is just not interesting here.

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In each level, you’re presented with a red ball.  You need to add components to the drawing in order to manipulate that ball and get it to touch the star (or stars).  You absolutely have to consider gravity here.  The image above is from one of the earliest levels, and you probably can think of a simple, inelegant solution.  Using that solution will get you past the level, but it wouldn’t be particularly rewarding.

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Even given the inclusion of a level editor, most gamers should give this a pass at $20. It relies on a combination of creative thinking, a decent understanding of physics, and the ability to be charmed by seriously low-fi graphics. It’s nothing I ever would have sought out, and I don’t know which part of that trinity I’m missing, but it didn’t work at all for me.

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