When picking up a new game to play on the odd occasion i’ll go for a puzzler, I like to be challenged by a game, the feeling of defeat is one I almost welcome. LudoLand Game’s Four Sided Fantasy definitely offers that challenge, and in a brilliantly unique way.
You play through the ever changing seasonal worlds as either a male or female character, they change depending of on the season your in. The environment you run through is layered with eye-catching 2D artwork, bringing a nice sense of depth and scale to the world. In fact it is the level design which makes this game stand out, creating some of the most original puzzles i’ve yet to experience in gaming.
To progress in Four Sided Fantasy you need to use a screen wrapping mechanic, this simply means by holding the R2 button and walking off one side of the screen you’ll appear on the other, however, it’s by no means a simple task to complete effectively. On occasions I had to put the controller down and just look at the screen for a solution; of course the solution regularly turned out to be extremely obvious once I had figured it out. These though-provoking puzzles are definitely the highlight of the game, well, to be honest, they kinda are the game.
Although Four Sided Fantasy had me truly stumped at times, almost to the point of frustration, which I loved, there really isn’t much else going on. I appreciate that you don’t need a clear narrative in a game to tell a story, just look at last months ABZU, but there really is no story at all. Upon finishing my first play through I had the questions ‘why the change of seasons?’ and ‘why the continuous change of character?’.
When you do finish Four Sided Fantasy, which will take you about 2 hours (depending on how stuck you get), you unlock the new game + mode. I hoped playing through this new mode would shed more light on my unanswered questions, unfortunately this was not the case. What the new mode does offer is a change to the game mechanics, now when holding the R2 button it offers more of a screen lock mechanic rather than a screen wrap mechanic, which oddly made the game easier.
Four Sided Fantasy isn’t the best puzzler I’ve played this year, but is by no mean the worse; offering me a welcomed challenge and some of the most thought provoking puzzles I’ve experienced for a while. Unfortunately with very little to do in-between these mini labyrinths, no real focus on narrative and a new game + that makes the game easier there’s little reason to return to this beautiful 2D world.