Manifold Garden – My Biggest Surprise at PSX
You know that game that comes around, from time to time, in which you have to “play it to understand it?” Well, I played Manifold Garden, and I can definitely say it fits that category. I spent a good deal of time with this game during the PlayStation Experience, over the weekend, and I can’t stop talking about it.
Manifold Garden is a first-person puzzle game, with an emphasis on physics and exploration. Its sole developer and designer William Chyr has created a game based of the lithograph print Relativity by mathematical artist, M.C. Escher. So often, when playing puzzle games, I come across a great deal of repetitive moments and scenery, but when I was exploring the world of Manifold Garden, I was constantly confronted with some kind of new architecture and challenge.
Check out this trailer for an example of the kind of architectural variety you’ll see:
As much as it is a game about architecture, it is a game that deals with geometry. Any direction you go leads you back to where you were. As an example, developer William Chyr had me walk off the side of a platform. As I plummeted downward I looked up and saw the geometric mass drifting away from me, but while looking down, it was awaiting my rapid approach. In other words, if I fell of the edge of a platform, I would end up back where I started.
It also features a nifty “photography mode” where you can play with various cameras and effects to bring your own creativity to the game. I imagine tons of people sharing their own spin on their personal favorite puzzles.
If you don’t recognize this title, you might have heard of it by its former title Relativity. Fitting, right? But with a new title and a more expanded concept, Manifold Garden was definitely one of my biggest surprises at the PlayStation Experience. The puzzles were fun, the world was imaginative, and I felt as though I was growing aesthetically and intellectually, minute by minute.
I also highly suggest you check out William Chyr’s dev streams, in which he gives us a peek into the construction of this fantastic and promising game.
What do you see that stands out to you about Manifold Garden? Let us know in the comments below!