I Know You Didn't Ask For My 'pinion On This, But....
Yep, it's that time again. The time for me to dust off the cobwebs and show everybody else how this review thing is done. If you couldn't tell by the title of this review or you were too lazy to look at the top paragraph, the game I am reviewing today is Pinion by He who wholly devours cosmic hydrogen fueled pyro spheres. I've already talked to him at length about this game. He knows my opinions and my reasons for the opinions. I've nearly already written a review of Pinion for him in a certain private message on the forum. I decided it's time that I let everybody else know my opinions of this madman's fantasy. (No offense, swallow.)
The gist of this game is rather simple: You are an executioner. Each level is completed by slaughtering a hapless prisoner. It's not really to my taste, but I will ignore my dislike of blood so I can stay somewhat objective, here. Anyway, you are an executioner who apparently only exists as a free floating axe. You control the axe with the mouse in all but two levels. In the levels in which you control the axe your goal is pretty simple: Drag the axe to the prisoner and fulfill your duties as executioner. Sounds easy right? Right? Wrong. The main difficulty is that a lot of the game's obstacles are nearly invisible. So you can imagine my frustration when I keep running into a wall that I can't see. "I'm definitely gonna win this time! Nothing going to stop me now! Almost there! The goal is within my grasp! ...And I am victo... GAMEOVER!?! #%$&!" The trick is that these transparent troublemakers can actually be controlled by the arrow keys. You can barely see the obstinate objects move, but you figure out how they work you can easily get past them. Or you can do what I did and stumble past them by randomly clicking my mouse and mashing the arrow keys. If swallow intended his puzzles to work like they do then he did a very good job with them. The best puzzles irritate everybody who attempts them. Some people would say that obstacle that you can't see are unfair and make the game to hard, but since when are sploder games supposed to be fair? Chances are if a game is fair then it is much too easy.
While the puzzle of the game are very interesting and unique, I found the style of gameplay to be just too simplistic. When you break down the game to it's core elements, it's nothing more than a drag and drop game, with the exception of the levels where you control the axe with the arrow keys. It's a little kids' game with the aesthetics of a big boys' game. The morbid and malicious atmosphere of the game distract from it's actual simplicity.
I suppose I should say something here about the other two levels. They have the same basic goal: Kill the prisoner. One level is a quick plat level. The other one is truly unique. In this one you control not one but several axes, each swinging on it's own delicate thread. How these axes get to the prisoner is rather surprising.
Despite the simplistic/sadistic nature of the game, I believe it was exceptional. It's main selling point is the frustrating puzzles. Chances are if the solution to these puzzles isn't told to you then you won't make it through. That's how puzzles should be. The careful reader will have noted that I didn't mention anything about enemies. That's because the only two enemies weren't worth mentioning. That's not to say that they were bad or placed poorly. They were just unremarkable. They served their purpose well and that is about the gist of it.
Pinion is great for those tortured souls who just want to take out their rage. Take hold of yon axe, young lad. With courage of heart and strength of mind show the world why they should fear the name "Pinion"!
~Final Score~: 18/25 = 72%