It’s not often that you play a platformer in which the main character hasn’t been anthropomorphized in some way. You play as a guy, or a hedgehog made to look and move like a guy, or a guy made of meat, or a guy who’s really pixelated… or a girl. That happens too. What doesn’t happen much is the path taken by iOS darling EDGE: you’re just a cube. You don’t have a face, arms, legs or any of that. While we love iOS games around here, we’re glad to see Two Tribes take on PC porting duties for Mobigame’s abstract title.
At first glance, it looks a lot like a puzzle game. (Specifically, Two Tribes’ own RUSH, a title similar to Chu Chu Rocket‘s puzzle mode.) You may even feel like it’s a plodding, thinker-type game through the first set of levels. It’s not long, though, before you realize this thing’s more Sonic than Lolo. You get pushed around the board at high speeds, have to jump on fast-moving platforms with edge-balancing acrobatics and pull off some slick moves to get to the end fast while collecting all the dots.
Moving around feels strange until you get used to it, and that’s because you’re moving around as a cube. (People don’t usually move like cubes, you know.) There’s a lot of resistance to the first tilt, but then you get moving forward quickly and have trouble stopping. You push up edges to climb upward, and many of the levels’ puzzles put you in holes that have only one direction of escape. It’s a clever way of restricting movement without being brain-dead.
The whole thing’s coated in a very game-fan-friendly aesthetic. The simple color scheme and abstract look reminds players of days gone by, but in case that wasn’t enough, Mobigame’s soundtrack is decidedly chippy. In the moments when the game just wants to transport you from one segment of a level to another, it does so stylishly. One little moving platform? Nah. Let’s make cubes into the shape of people or make stairs temporarily come out of walls to guide you along.
The appeal of EDGE is a lot less about getting through the levels and a lot more about acing them. Masterful runs combine precise movements with edge-balancing, a trick that actually subtracts time from your total but is difficult to pull off. These runs take practice and memorization, and should appeal to those players who love games like Super Meat Boy and those ultra-hard Mario mods.
We wish there were a few more bells and whistles to EDGE, but it largely sticks to the scope and ambition of the mobile version. At less than ten bucks, though, and with promised free DLC on the way, it’s definitely worth checking out.