The Floor Is Jelly Review

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The Floor Is Jelly deserves to be in an art gallery for its wonderfully designed levels, but with occasional framerate drops and difficult controls, this game’s ingenious puzzles are let down by its loose platforming.

As the name suggests, this puzzle-platformer is based on the use of a jelly surface. As a flea-like character, you can jump up and down on the jellied ground to gain momentum like a trampoline so you can reach higher platforms. Much like Team Meat’s Super Meat Boy, you can wall jump, and soar through the sky at high speed from your bounces to get to an opposite section of the level. Another similarity that can be made between The Floor Is Jelly and Super Meat Boy is that there is an internal philosophy of game design; there are no tutorials.

In the beginning of The Floor Is Jelly, the player naturally learns to progress through the levels by experimentation – such as wall jumping. However, the puzzles become more complex with each world, and at times there is no evident solution from the environment. As a result, a guess with no recognition of how the puzzle works sometimes progresses you through a level. In addition, the difficulty spikes from very easy to difficult at a moment’s notice, so there is very little natural progression for The Floor Is Jelly’s platforming elements. When the player manages to understand the puzzle though, The Floor Is Jelly is ingenious with interesting twists on the gameplay, such as turning the environment itself and letting flowers gather rain rather than being in shelter.

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While the game may have issues with its internal gameplay mechanics, The Floor Is Jelly’s strongest asset is its fantastic simplified art design. The environments are spectacular with rain drops making the jelly floor shake, the moonlit night sky with strands of light following you, and a sunset with leaves hovering around the air. Every screen from the game deserves to be in an art gallery with The Floor Is Jelly’s simple but beautiful aesthetic. If you are a fan of thatgamecompany’s flOw, Flower or Journey’s art style, you will adore this game for this aspect alone.

Another aspect of the game that many fans of flOw, Flower or Journey would like is the mellow soundtrack by Disasterpiece which drifts off and on. The music fits the atmosphere Ian Snyder is trying to create and when the tracks fade away, there is a stronger emphasis on the spectacular visuals and mood. The audio cues are spot on and from that, The Floor Is Jelly succeeds in getting a response from the player. If there are a few nitpicks to be had, the rarely played off-tune guitar tracks and the repetitive sound of your character jumping get irritating but do not ruin the soundscape created for the game.

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Despite the mellow soundtrack playing in the background, there is sure to be at least a little cussing drowning it out, as The Floor Is Jelly has a few issues with its framerate. The game chugs when there are many objects on screen or a big set-piece like a house on the side – this creates input lag. With a platformer, it is essential to have the controls feel tight and lagless, but with The Floor Is Jelly, the framerate drops frustrate time and time again as there are precise wall jumps you have to get just right. Also, jumping in the air feels very loose as the flea-like character has a low sense of weight. When you try to gain momentum as you jump up and down the jelly floor, there is input lag which makes the gameplay even more difficult than it has to be. Keep note that, if you plan to use the Xbox 360 controller (which I highly recommend), you will have to unplug it as the game is on the main menu and then reconnect it. It can be a pain but it’s a minor inconvenience.

The Floor Is Jelly will take you around four hours to finish with plenty of interesting puzzles along the way and with a $9.99 (it is now, at the time of writing, $7.99) price tag, it’s worth picking up if you’re interested in the slightest.

Overall, The Floor Is Jelly has various issues with an occasional frame rate drop, loose controls, and some confusing puzzles but the visuals are spectacular and most of the levels are filled with creativity. Even though it has problems, this is an exceptional game from a one man developer and Ian Snyder should pat himself on the back for such an incredible looking and clever game. Also… just putting this out there – this would make for an outstanding PlayStation Vita title.

Among The Sleep Review

The main thing that sets Among The Sleep apart from other titles is the fact you’re nothing compared to the ‘enemy’. Even in games like Outlast, where you have nothing to defend yourself with, you still find yourself as a match for the enemy; you’re always stronger or faster or smarter, but in Among The Sleep you play as a baby, a freaking baby, you’re not as strong fast or smart, you’re just a baby, a wobbly legged baby.

The baby’s ability set is about as limited as you can imagine, he can crawl pretty fast, walk slowly, get a grip on objects or climb short ledges. That’s it though, with just the abilities of a simple baby you are sent into a nightmare with terrifying evils surrounding you.

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The game’s level design is fantastic. Each section of the game is a challenge, simply opening a door can require over ten minutes of setup. Everything is designed realistically, but also with the player’s skillset in mind. The only issue is these challenges quickly become repetitive. The most you will do is some simple navigation and stealth.

So there’s the main issue with Among The Sleep, it’s a stellar horror experience, but its simplistic mechanics quickly become stale. However the world of Among The Sleep holds the experience together. A simple room, like a kitchen, that we navigate every day quickly becomes a frightening place and familiar home comforts become horrors themselves. Suddenly that hanging coat becomes something much more dangerous and dark. Normal day to day things become terrifying nightmares when you’re put into this scary nightmarish world. This is what pulled me into Among The Sleep and helped me get over the simple and boring game mechanics.

18 Among The Sleep ReviewWhile the bulk of scares in the game are imagined, most bumps aren’t really that bad, but from your point of view they can be terrifying. There is however a real and deadly foe in Among The Sleep, bugs. The game runs pretty poorly on my system, but thats just poor optimization. The main issues are clipping into geometry and some completely inexplicable frame drops which kills the pacing completely.