Available on PC, PlayStation 4
We played on PC
Four Sided Fantasy makes my brain hurt…but in a good way. The game looks simple enough – a 2D platformer with a clean aesthetic – but once you get into it, you’ll find it’s anything but simple.
Four Sided Fantasy is a game solely about gameplay. There’s not really any story or motivation for what you’re doing. I guess the entire game could be a representation of a relationship where the people are at odds with each other, but we’ll leave that for someone’s dissertation.
The gameplay in Four Sided Fantasy seems straightforward when you hear about it. It uses screen wrap as its main component. If you’re not familiar with screen wrap, it basically means the screen is kind of like a sphere. If you go off in one direction, you’ll eventually come back on the other side. This isn’t new to games. Think Pac-Man. But its use here goes way beyond anything I’ve ever seen in a game before.
You control two characters – a boy and girl – but never at the same time. You switch between them by toggling the screen wrap on and off. When you’ve got it on, the screen gets fuzzy. Knowing when to turn the screen wrap on and off is the gist of the gameplay. The platforming elements by themselves aren’t at all difficult. Successfully progressing involves really examining what is on the screen and where it is, and then thinking about how it would change with the screen wrap toggle on. It also involves standing your character in the right place so you can see platforms or jumps that you couldn’t see if you were just a few steps away. And you have consider the entire screen, meaning up and down in addition to left and right.
It’s not a game that can be played in quick short bursts. You really need to sit back and analyze everything. Progressing through some of the areas took me a number of tries. But this wasn’t because I was missing a jump, it was because I hadn’t found the correct solution. Thankfully there’s no penalty for making the wrong the choice. If you “die” you respawn right at the same area.
Four Sided Fantasy hasn’t yet been rated by the ESRB. The game doesn’t contain any objectionable content of any kind. Its difficulty would be the more defining characteristic of this game when considering it for kids.
Four Sided Fantasy is not for the faint of heart. This game is hard. Even when you think you’ve got it, there will be a a new challenge. The developers have said that one of their inspirations was Portal. I love Portal. I played a ton of Portal, but this game is way more difficult than Portal, at least for me. But I love that it’s difficult. There are times when I want a game I can easily move through, but other times I want to be challenged. This game is a great challenge.