I can see the orb. It glows brilliantly in the darkness, above and beyond where my character is located. It’s teasing me – I should be able to get it, but I can’t. It’s tantalisingly out of reach. My character, a being composed of glowing light not too dissimilar to the orb, just can’t quite make it.
The Secret of Gillwood is a deliberately challenging, 3rd person 3D puzzle platformer. It’s a game that wants you to succeed, but it definitely wants to give you a challenge before you get there.
The orb I was describing? It was the first one in the game. I haven’t reached it yet, but I know it can be done. I’ve seen it being done on YouTube; every movement carefully planned, every potential platform judged for distance and size before the player moves the character.
Though the character is made of light, it feels somewhat heavy; there’s no cartoony, platform game floatiness here. It makes its way through nicely constructed – albeit dark – environments, which are lit beautifully and effectively by lanterns, the aforementioned orbs and your character too.
There’s a definite sense of achievement when you overcome what would, in most games, be a simple obstacle; I know, when I reach that first orb – and I’ll get there – I’ll definitely feel like I’ve conquered Everest. I’ll breathe a sigh of relief too – and steel myself for the next area.
The Secret of Gillwood is currently in the Steam sale. If you’re looking for a solid challenge, take a look – in the meantime, I’m going to try and get myself that orb.
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