The art of physics is at your disposal with Bolverk Games’ new 3D platformer Glyph. Taking cues from other roly-poly games like Super Monkey Ball and Marble Madness, does this little creature have what it takes to stand up to the greats?
The world of the titular character Glyph is in complete disarray. After being woken up by Anobi, he soon learns of the great cataclysm. This traumatic event caused corruption in the sands, and it’s up to Glyph to face this corruption and restore the temple city of Aaru.
With a game like this, the story serves as window dressing and nothing more. Anobi will chuck bits of lore at you as you explore its world and make your way around its hub, but it can safely be ignored with a few quick presses of the A button for those that want to get straight into the action. Rather, the game truly shines with its presentation – though it’s not an incredibly detailed title that pushes the Nintendo Switch hardware, it does have a polished look that has plenty of charm.
Each level in Glyph serves as an obstacle course of sorts, one that has you navigating platforms and making your way to a portal. Keys must be gathered to open said portal, but there is a wealth of coins, gems, and artifacts that can also be collected along the way. It’s not like the collectathons found in Banjo-Kazooie or Donkey Kong 64, but it does encourage replayability – especially when said goodies unlock additional pieces of content.
Of course, a game that prides itself on its platforming gameplay is only as good as its control scheme. Glyph largely delivers with its tight physics and freedom of control. The main character can bounce around the world like a pinball, but tools like a double jump, glide, and wall hop can all be used to maneuver around its world with ease. Just be warned: though the camera is mapped to the right analog stick, it can be tricky lining things up while in the thick of it.
If anything, that proves to be Glyph’s greatest weakness – it’s difficulty. Though there are time trials that reward different tiers of performances and a difficulty rating from one to five, actually getting the hang of things will take some serious time. Messing up a run is never fun, especially when there are multiple keys or a long distance to cover. Those itching for a challenge will enjoy taking it on, but those less patient best approach with caution.
As players make their way through the game, they’ll be able to come across a number of unlockable avatars and trails. The core game also has a fair amount of meat to it, ensuring that players will be at it for a good while as they gradually unlock its world.
Though there is a bit of a learning curve, Glyph’s physics-based platforming will appeal to speedrunners and collectathon aficionados alike. Its difficulty may be a turn off for some, but those willing to cut their teeth will enjoy bouncing their way around its world.
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