Dean West

Cefore is still in early access. Therefore, we will offer our completed thoughts on the game at such time the full release is available.

Developer: Pixelz Games

Publisher: Crytivo

Platform(s): PC

Release Date: 6th April 2018 (Early Access)

I remember when Angry Birds was a big deal although I can’t quite remember what made it so addictive. It was simple enough; launch birds with different destructive attributes to topple structures. There was nothing special about it, really, but I played it incessantly. The longest I played any mobile game, perhaps.

Cefore, a demolition themed puzzle game, reminds me strongly of Angry Birds. Mostly for its structure; with three worlds each comprised of a few dozen or so levels, each varying in complexity as you progress. It could also be because you are left to your wits with a handful of tools, each with their own destructive properties, to destroy stuff. Cefore shares a lot of similarities to Angry Birds in that regard but also does a few things differently.

Cefore-1

Cefore looks like a much sweeter game than Angry Birds. The music in Cefore, a mix of piano and percussion, remixed to sound like that of an 80’s family film, akin to Honey I Shrunk the Kids, creates a relaxing atmosphere. This is a nice juxtaposition with the mayhem you’re tasked with creating. The soothing music is quite lovely though, as the game does present a challenge in later stages and is capable of frustrating the most seasoned of puzzle-gamers.

The opening levels are fairly straightforward and feel mainly like a formality, that is to say, a means of teaching you Cefore’s mechanics and how to use the variety of tools the game gives you. As a tutorial section, it’s very well structured and doesn’t feel like it is actually teaching you at all. Conversely, Cefore doesn’t do a very good job of explaining how certain tools work, such as my experience with the Warp Tool. This particular item enables you to link several objects together so whatever you do to one object, affects the others. It wasn’t quite clear initially exactly how I was supposed to link objects together and the process of doing so isn’t quite as intuitive as it should feel.

That said, once you’ve unlocked each tool and understand how they all work, Cefore is a blast (pun not intended – no, really, it wasn’t) and it becomes clear that experimentation is a huge part of what makes Cefore such a fun game. If you make a mistake, you have an undo button at the top of your screen, which you can use with no in-game penalty. You can also delete and retrieve all tools you’ve placed or restart the level from scratch. Cefore does this all with no visible load times. It’s all snappy and responsive and, most importantly, doesn’t distract or disrupt gameplay. This is important, given that you’ll be trying a variety of different approaches to how you solve puzzles.

Cefore-2

Levels are completed by collecting data blocks with are dotted across each level. These data blocks are often stacked upon concrete towers which you must demolish to get the blocks to ground level. The real trick is getting each required data block into the same part of the level to collect them, as you have to set up a ‘beacon’ which has a detection range. Simply put, knock the blocks onto the ground and get them all within range of the beacon. The difficulty is further compounded when the game puts non-destructible obstructions in your way. Combine this with levels that grow larger and data blocks spread further apart and you’ve got yourself a head-scratcher.

There isn’t a lot that disappoints me about Cefore but the control scheme is definitely one of its biggest annoyances. You move you’re little builder guy about using the W, A, S, and D keys and use E to activate certain items – such as the data you’re tasked with collecting. You can also zoom in and out using the mouse wheel. This all feels like pretty standard fare but you have to hold the right mouse button to turn the camera. I could feel some left/ right brain conflict going on whenever I tried to move the player character and look around at the same time. This is a shame because despite Cefore’s striking visuals – a combination of abstract and minimalist art styles – its fun and addictive core gameplay loop, and lovely soundtrack, the control scheme detracted a lot enjoyment from these areas.

Cefore-3

Cefore is still in early-access and Pixelz Games have been upfront that the game is an alpha-build and, as such, many of the above features may be changed or removed by the end-product. It would be nice, then, to see a more fluid control system with proper gamepad support included. As it stands, however, Cefore is a quirky and pleasant little brain-teaser which will also appease those with an insatiable desire for destruction.

 

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