“With such a convincing collection of artifacts that prove the existence of precision machinery in ancient Egypt, the idea that the Great Pyramid was built by an advanced civilization that inhabited the Earth thousands of years ago becomes more admissible.” – Christopher Dunn
Glyph is a versatile platformer, originally released for Nintendo Switch and is now available to play on PC. It is a unique combination of challenging aerial manoeuvres, a tranquil aesthetic and a casual narrative that makes for a rare gaming experience that is both difficult and relaxing!
Developer: Bloverk Games
Released: January 2021
Price: £15.49 – £17.99
This game is being reviewed as part of the Indie Game Collective (IGC) showcase.
Glyph sees players making their way across platforms of safe ground, collecting gems, coins, keys and artefacts that can be used to track progress and unlock a total of 80 levels! In the beginning, Glyph can only roll but jump, double-jump, glide and smash are introduced throughout the tutorial levels before they are then used in combination to even greater effect. Jumps are charged by touching safe ground and double jumps are activated by hitting special charging pads or flying through a charging hoop. Any deviation from the safe ground will land the player in the toxic sand and result in insta-death, returning the player to the start of the level.
Glyph has nice movement, the character feels weighty and loose to control and has the kind of slide you’d expect of a spherical object. Notably, the movement can be adjusted at all times, including in midair, allowing for exciting aerial manoeuvres and fun platforming.
The level environments and visuals vary greatly as well as the content. There are both linear and non-linear levels and even some time trials which help keep the game experience fresh and interesting. The game as a whole is also non-linear in that levels can be completed in different orders depending on the currency collected by the player and not all levels need to be completed in order to finish the game making it suitable for casual players to enjoy as well as platformer aficionados and speedrunners!
As the player progresses they are sporadically interrupted with small sections of text replaying the game’s narrative. A mechanical monster has ravaged and poisoned the land, the sand is toxic and safe ground is sparse. As a result, the protagonist Glyph has been awoken and tasked with cleansing the corrupted heart of creation. Glyph must visit the ruins of ancient civilisations to collect lost power gems in order to restore the buried temple city of Aaru and face the source of the corruption.
The narrative is not especially gripping, with Glyph’s prominent and strongest feature being the gameplay. However, it does add an extra layer of depth to the overall experience and provide a somewhat entertaining story that helps tie the mechanics and aesthetics together nicely.
Glyph is pretty right from the start and has a colourful and clean art style that utilises nicely textured 3D models, complementary colour palettes, and a nice contrast of muted and vibrant tones. The variety of environments and the shiny lighting are the visual highlights of the game.
The soundtrack is an unusual mix of relaxing ethereal sounds and an 80’s sci-fi soundtrack, with retro keyboard melodies that fit the game well. There is also a range of ambient environmental and movement sound effects to help the world feel more immersive.
Overall, Glyph is a fun and original platformer that will appeal to a wide range of players. The levels have a good range of difficulty ratings and offer varying amounts of challenge. However, the audio and visual elements and the non-linear structure stop the experience from feeling frantic or stressful and make it accessible and relaxing. Generally speaking, platformers aren’t my forte but this was a really chilled out game to suck at and I’d happily recommend it to players of all ability levels!
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