Developer: Davyn Karan
Released: September 2014
Experimental puzzler Beyond Perception is a first-person 3D game with museum paintings that can be entered and explored. It was created in seven days using Unity by Davyn Karan and Jean-Remi Tessier, with Lokhaan as the music composer.
The game’s paintings utilize a unique art style that uses minimal colors and lacks shadows and textures, resulting in the loss of perspective. Your character must enter these paintings, and escape them, which is easier said than done.
Getting used to the art style is the main challenge of Beyond Perception, as important elements will blend with the background. You may see a large black floor from one side, but on another side, it becomes a set of stairs. What appears to be part of the ground can be a pit. Therefore, it is up to your brain to interpret what your surroundings really are and fill in the gaps. Once you escape a painting, it will be shown as a “window” into the level rather than a flat painting in the museum.
The levels are not too challenging but still require a bit of thought, as reaching the exit is not a straightforward task, with non-obvious falls and obstacles blocking your way. The only exception is Memorial which hosts a maze that is beyond difficult to navigate and easy to get lost in, thanks to the pitch-black ground and walls. Memorial’s saving grace is the exposed ceiling which gives you a valuable hint on where you are, but navigating the maze remains tedious.
The game includes a simple musical score which fits well with the surreal nature of the game, though the game lacks any sound effects. The game is short and can be completed in around 30 minutes or more, depending on how long you take to decipher the puzzles. It also meant to be played in one sitting, as you lose all your progress if you quit – don’t press Esc!
Beyond Perception is a clever, mind-binding puzzler where you must escape a 2D picture by thinking in 3D. The game’s unique art style is its greatest asset and will appeal to anyone looking for a surreal quick fix.