Perspective Offers A New Twist On First Person Puzzles

by Mike Mahardy on Dec 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM

A group of students from DigiPen have created a first-person puzzle game that allows you to move around freely in a 3D space in order to guide a platforming figure to its destination.

At first, Perspective plays like a normal 2D platformer. However, much like Fez, the game enables you to change your -- you guessed it -- perspective in order to progress. Unlike Fez though, you can move the camera freely around the rooms, and not merely just between four fixed points.

The game tasks you with traversing a set of hallways and entering different challenge areas. The whole idea of the perspective mechanic is clever, but the execution is even more intriguing.

I had the chance to play the game, and the viewpoint perspective gives rise to myriad puzzle possibilities. Your mini character is tasked with moving through each puzzle room and jumping into a portal to complete the stage. The catch? You can only walk on blue platforms, while the orange ones will vaporize you.

There are many puzzles that simply require you to align two platforms closer to each other, but there are more that toy with the camera mechanic in interesting ways. I'm reticent to spoil any specific puzzle solutions, but one room in particular confused me for a while.

A large, orange wall stood between the two blue platforms on screen. With the click of a mouse button though, I can move the camera much like a first person game, and even walk around the current chamber. As long as the mini figure has a blue platform to land on once I revert back to control it, he won't be vaporized. Walking farther down the hall, I notice a pillar made out of the surrounding architecture. If I stand in the right spot, the pillar -- which appears larger due to my close proximity -- obscures the deadly orange wall. So, while keeping my camera in its new place, I revert back to the mini figure controls with a click and effortlessly make the jump. As long as the gap isn't filled with blue or orange, nothing will obstruct or vaporize me.

That sort of puzzle barely scratches the game's surface. Through the next few rooms, the game grew progressively more devious. One particular area -- my favorite -- played with the idea of relativity. That is, I could change the size of my mini figure by moving my omnipresent camera closer and farther away. This allowed me to reach extremely high ledges in one small leap, or walk effortlessly through a space barely larger than a rat.

Enough of my experience though. The game is available for download. And also, it's free. Check it out here.