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FILMECHANISM Switch Review – Controlling Time With a Snap

FILMECHANISM Switch Review – Controlling Time With a Snap

FILMECHANISM

FILMECHANISM is a game we have been following for a while. It was announced in June of this year, and during the Japanese Indie Game Showcase, Phoenixx and Chemical Pudding announced that the game was making a surprise drop on the eShop right after the presentation. The teams were kind enough to send us a review code, and I have been taking pictures and puzzling to my heart’s content.

So is FILMECHANISM the new indie puzzle platformer we all need? Or this is just another charming title lacking substance? Let’s find out!

The simple story of FILMECHANISM is that our little one-eyed friend Rec has just arrived on a new star system, and it is ready to take some pictures! It is technically a “camera humanoid”, and unfortunately it fell down and lost its gold film! In puzzle-platformer fashion, Rec is chasing this gold film across multiple worlds that just happen to throw crazy puzzles its way to make things that much more complicated.

I love this. It is as uncomplicated as it can be, even moreso than a Super Mario storyline, and it is hard not to fall in love with Rec and its desire to retrieve its most previous gold film.

What makes the game extra special is its unique puzzle gimmick of taking pictures, of which is Rec’s purpose in life. Throughout each level, Rec can pick up film rolls to use one time in the level to return items back to the position of the picture taken. Things get more complicated as you progress and more film rolls are in each stage, which requires you to think extra hard in order to get our adorable protagonist to its goal.

filmechanism

There are over 200 stages across 6 worlds, which may sound like an insane amount per world, but FILMECHANISM splits things up nicely. Each world has three different lines of stages based on difficulty level, so if you want a more laid back experience, you can take the Normal route. If you want a more complicated experience, you can take the Hard one. If you want your experience to be even harder, well, you can take the nice Hell route! All of these routes are available at the start of each world, and advancing to the next world simply requires finishing an entire difficulty line.

There is a good and bad point to this interesting strategy, because if you get stuck on one line and want to go down a difficulty, you will have to backtrack to the start of that lower difficulty, which kind of “deletes” your progress. But since this is a puzzle game, I am sure many players will simply enjoy trying the harder stages before tackling the easier ones. Either way, there are a ton of levels to play and experiment with en route to collecting that most previous golden film roll.

As you progress through each world, new gimmicks will be introduced to mix things up a bit, which is a nice progression system. Different types of blocks, springs, switches, and buttons, for example, add new elements to the picture-taking gameplay, which in turn elevates the natural difficulty of FILMECHANISM over time.

filmechanism

There is a hint system in the pause menu in case you get stuck. Each stage has about 4-6 hints to offer, and each hint costs 100 coins. Coins are earned through natural gameplay, clearing puzzles, so you can use your stored up coins to help on some of the harder stages. The nice thing about this hint system is that you can pay your way to the entire answer, or you can pay just for the section you need (e.g. how to start, when to use the film, how to finish, etc). This is an excellent hint system that comes in handy near perfectly, and it can be a life-savor on some of those mind-boggling levels.

The graphics are adorable, and Rec is a lovely looking camera humanoid. Each world has its own unique tiles and look to differentiate the 6 areas, and the use of the dotted lines for when you took the picture for each colored reel is an incredibly helpful reminder for where things will return once you snap back to that shot. Everything in the game is wonderfully designed, and there are no problems whatsoever.

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The soundtrack is so pleasant, and I particularly enjoyed the variety of songs throughout the game. It is not a grand soundtrack, but it compliments the look and feel wonderfully.

filmechanism

FILMECHANISM is a solid outing with tons to offer. The puzzle platformer genre is not the most popular out there, but this is a title that not only does the genre justice but genuinely gives us one of the best puzzle platformers of 2021.

For the price, you are getting over 200 puzzles, where roughly a third are required to “clear” the game. However, the real challenge comes in the Hard and Hell puzzles, which ramp up the difficulty wonderfully if you are looking to test your puzzle platformer skills.

As it stands, FILMECHANISM can easily hang its picture along the wall of 2021’s best. It is only unfortunate that it released so late in the year that it was too late to make anyone’s Game of the Year discussion, but it is that good.


FILMECHANISM Review provided by Nintendo Link
Review also found on OpenCritic
Publisher: Phoenixx
Developer: Chemical Pudding
Release Date: December 15th, 2021
Price: $19.99£15.49€16,79
Game Size: 87 MB

filmechanism
0
Masterpiece
92100
Pros

Fantastic puzzle platformer with brilliant gimmicks

Three different difficulties within each of the 6 Worlds

Excellent hint system

Adorable graphics and fun soundtrack

Cons

Difficulties don't line up, so if you get stuck on one, you have to start another one from the beginning. Not necessary bad, but can be inconvenient.

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