Glyph is an enchanting 3D platformer that makes momentum the focus of the fun in a beautifully crafted world.
Within each of us lies a divine gift to create. By consciously manipulating the world around us we imbue upon it the power of our emotions and find meaning where there was once none. For many, it may be hard to find our higher purpose, but not for a certain magical sphere named Glyph.
Glyph is an ancient artifact that has been brought to life amidst the ruins of a lost civilization to restore the magic city of Aaru. It is up to Glyph to gather gems of power used to rebuild the city from beneath the sands and cleanse the heart of creation.
Glyph is an enchanting 3D platformer that makes momentum the focus of the fun. Because Glyph is a sphere that can alter its shape, it empowers itself with energy to jump and glide in the form of an Egyptian scarab. Using momentum from rolling, Glyph explores the ruins of its creation while gathering power to unlock secrets and restore balance to the heart of creation.
Glyph tells a mysterious story as an adorable platforming protagonist. Once introduced to the game’s physics you set about the ancient city warping to different locations to gather the various stage objects. Platforming involves utilizing safe areas to charge your ability to jump, and green powered zones that grant a 2nd mid-air jump. Glyph can use momentum to glide great distances and even scale walls as touching the surface recharges the jump ability. A ground slam can stop momentum or be used in conjunction with the double jump to achieve maximum height. After familiarizing yourself with the controls, movement quickly becomes intuitive and addictive.
Glyph comes with a wonderful level map by means of unlocking different sections of the ancient magical city. This may feel familiar to fans of Crash, Gex, and Mario, as the multitude of levels are organized into beautiful and challenging areas to progress into. Jumping into a portal sends glyph to a new level full of coins, keys, gems, and other secrets to unlock.
While keys are required to pass each level, coins and power gems are spent to open new stages and unlock areas of the city, so every simple action eventually adds up in value. The game opens up into more fast paced time trials where you collect keys at high speeds, intense boss fights and plenty of cosmetic upgrades sprinkled throughout each level for the most diligent of platforming detectives. The variety of collectibles offers many roads down an entertaining journey to full game completion.
In each level the ground is the enemy. Safe zones are made up of stone block segments that protrude from the sand in a variety of puzzling ways. The freedom of movement is liberating as it becomes more and more satisfying to travel in great leaps with ease once the game picks up. The inertia and gravity allow a level of control when exploring and feels as if Monkey Ball or Marble Madness had an open world environment combined with high flying action of an extreme sport. The time trials eventually blast off into Sonic territory as they speed up with progress. Exploring the variety of different levels or returning to each for a full completion leads to hours of enjoyable playtime, even when execution becomes repetitive or frustrating.
Objects and characters are beautifully sculpted in 3D as backgrounds and objects in the world have a soft cartoon gleam. The music is also a majestic blend of contemplative moods that seem to enlighten your in game decisions with a state of tranquility. The choice of songs goes hand in hand with the easy going and relaxing nature of glyph’s solo adventure through the sand. The soundtrack and visuals add depth to the world by gently inviting you to explore deeper.
While the many of Glyph’s qualities are on par with classic 3D platformers there is a lack of sound effects that define the characters personality. Most sounds you’ll hear are physical reactions to movement designed to feel gentle and somewhat relaxing, but there are few sounds that represent the characters themselves. Since the majority of character interactions come in the form of advice from your insectoid mentor, it can break the immersion of the well constructed visuals when reading long messages without any sound effect or audio cue. Even without using language or humor, some vocalizations or other effects could go a long way in emotionally connecting characters to an audience, similar to how speech is handled in Banjo-Kazooie.
Although the boss fights are a promising addition to any adventure, there are only few wedged in between the many stages that you’ll have to plow through to get to them. While the game offers a lot to enjoy, the experience can feel mechanical after playing many stages without a good cutscene or story element that could better establish conflict or character development.
The secrets of the lost civilization illustrate how power must come from within. The challenges that await in Glyph are diverse and fun to explore as the story is mindful in character and charming to experience. This is because gameplay allows the freedom to go with your own flow while at the same time propelling you forward at great heights and at high velocity. When combined, the whole experience is a wonderful recipe for excitement as Glyph rolls with enough speed, skills, and story to allure gamers of all ages.
-Inertia makes movement controls lots of fun
-Level map offers variety of gameplay
-Lots of stages with a ton of collectables and secret cosmetic upgrades
-Smooth music and visuals create surprisingly relaxed experience
-Character sound effects lack emotions or personality
-Storytelling could be more immersive
-Only a few boss fights between many levels.
4 out of 5
Review key provided by PR. Glyph is out now!