Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of a cube. Really, just a cube. From Two Tribes comes an indie puzzle platformer called Edge, which has you traversing treacherous isometric paths that are constantly in motion as a cube that does not give a damn about the laws of gravity. Like many indie titles, it’s an example of a clever idea polished and primed, but let’s see if it’s worth your time after its transition to the Nintendo Wii U eShop and Steam.
Everyone loves puzzles. If you tell me you don’t enjoy that feeling of satisfaction from putting those critical thinking skills to the test and solving a problem, you are a liar. Edge gives you this feeling in a splendid way by testing your reflex and precision skills in a relatively new way. At a glance, this game doesn’t necessarily break any ground in the field of isometric platform games, but it has features to set it apart from the rest, making it wholly unique. The use of momentum and hanging onto edges of blocks changes the way you approach courses; it’s very refreshing.
One of the benefits of playing with the Wii U GamePad is the option to use the d-pad or the control stick, which works really well for precision movements. That’s not to say though that it will be easy. Edge certainly has a learning curve, but the game will gradually ease you into its more intense elements with courtesy. It’s been decades since Q*bert was a thing, so it wasn’t easy to regain that feel for going directly left just to end up going diagonal; if you’ve played a game like these, you probably know what I’m talking about. There is a top down map on the top-left corner of the screen that helps you out if you ever need an extra angle or reassurance that you’re in a certain spot and not about to fall to certain doom rather than certain victory.
Edge is generous in many ways. Every now and then, the game will need you to hold the hanging-off-an-edge manuever while the cube you’re holding onto takes you somewhere. The nice thing though is that if you let go just a millisecond too early and fall, the game forgives you and tells that you know what you were doing anyway. You just won’t be getting that S rank. Edge rewards expertise but also does not condemn rookies. In that sense, it’s a very approachable title.
The soundtrack to Edge is phenomenal. The levels cycle through some maybe five or six songs, but they’re all great enough to get into no matter how many times you hear it. Excellently written electronic beats pump life into the game and go very well with the art style. Its aesthetics are simple, but also have a certain attention to detail. Specifically, there is a minuscule effect at play that is visible around the center of the screen that adds a mild blur and a strange color distortion that makes you feel like you’re playing the game on a CRT, cathode ray tube, television set. All of these ingredients make a lovely recipe for a game that’s a feast for the eyes and ears while luring you in with addictive and challenging gameplay.[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/880774" params="color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]
The Wii U version of Edge comes with the whole library of extra levels from the Extended version, in addition to more bonus levels. These will be brought to the Steam version at a later date as downloadable content. For $1.99 on the Nintendo eShop, Edge is a flat-out steal, more than worth the price for the quality and quantity of gameplay. There isn’t a whole lot of variety to the gameplay, but what it does, it does very well, and will likely be enough to keep you coming back every now and then to get another fill of that sweet isometric platforming action. Since its debut on iOS, Edge has remained a solid, challenging, and toe-tapping platformer that is still well worth checking out, whether its on the Wii U eShop, Steam, or for mobile devices. Plus, you get to be a sweet disco cube in space.
[+ Simple, challenging, and satisfying gameplay] [+Excellent electronic soundtrack] [+Subtle but lovely graphics effects] [+Courteous learning curve] [+Approachable and rewarding regardless of player's experience] [+Tons of levels to tackle] [+Incredible bargain at $1.99] [-Not much variety of environments]