PC Review Code Provided by Skookum Arts
As someone who has grown up playing puzzle games, I love it when I find something that is a fresh take on how puzzle designs can be set up. Skookum Arts has delivered one of the most unique takes on a puzzle game set up that I have seen in years with their latest released title on Steam, The Pedestrian. Providing me with a series of puzzles that are difficult to solve and require step-by-step thought processes, this is an indie game that deserves every puzzle fan’s attention.
This is an aspect of the game that isn’t told directly, but it certainly seems to have one cryptically. As far as I can tell, you are controlling a stick character through the streets of someone’s life and end up putting a device that brings the stick character and actual person to a new level of connection. Again, it isn’t told directly so let the theories begin!
Control-wise, you can only move, jump, and pick up specific items. This is the platforming aspect of the game, so be ready to jump up platforms and drop down from high points because that is how you get through the puzzles once you connect them correctly. Every area you are in will have an obvious goal where you are either just trying to progress forward or collect an item to bring to the mainboard.
Each item you encounter has a different use. From the list of items you will interact with are:
Boxes – used to block lasers and gain height for jumping up high ledges
Keys – used to unlock doors blocking your path as other “creative” uses (vague as to not spoil puzzle-solving moments)
Plug Coils – used to connect power outlets together and get electricity from point A to B, or possibly D if the puzzle is more complicated
Device Pieces – the end goal of each section of the game is to connect the new device piece to the gameboy power device which will then open the path you need to continue through the game
Doorways – not so much an item as much as a puzzle element, but you will come across doorways that when put overtop another sign it will take the player from one sign to the next as a one-way doorway
Sign Paint – again, not an item, but a puzzle element that will allow you to make changes to the pathway connections without resetting anything within that particular sign
I like how your goal is told to you through the sticky notes in the background. This is a great way to make sure you can always refer to what your end goal of each puzzle is as you continue to make your way through each chapter. The same goes for how they went from tutorial to the main game using the subway car to present each chapter as another stop along the way and the tab system to show how many areas are left.
Lastly, we have what is likely the main part of the game when it comes to solving the puzzles you are presented with. Once you are at a puzzle and hit the button to back the frame out you will have the ability to connect doors, ladders, and power outlets. To do this you can move the signs around as needed, sometimes only within a limited space which adds to the step-by-step solving process. They also limit you by having it where the doors have to be facing opposite ways, be on the appropriate side, and same with ladders as you can’t be too diagonal nor close or it will be a broken pathway.
All-in-all, the controls and layout of the game are simple in design making it easy for players to focus on solving each puzzle they come across rather than on the controls themselves. There’s nothing mechanically challenging about this game, but the puzzles are going to require some thought process in order to get through each one since all the challenge of this game was put into this aspect.
While the background had a cartoon-like gradient to it, the overall style was fitting for a game based on controlling a sign man through a world of street sign puzzles. It was aesthetically pleasing to the environment we were given and appropriate for the type of game it is.
The soundtrack and occasional sound effects were very well done. My only complaint is that I don’t understand why the music is practically nonexistent while solving the puzzle and then blasting when moving forward through the game. I would rather it maintain a volume throughout that has low and high points based on what is going on, such as solving a puzzle or progressing.
Unfortunately, it being a puzzle game means what you would expect – no replayability. All of the puzzles will be the same and there is no new game+ mode.
Other than my note above about the soundtrack, I would just say that I would have liked to have seen more of the game. It isn’t much of a complaint, but I could have kept going especially with the unique final puzzle twist we were given. I was hoping to have at least one or two more like that one, but perhaps in a future game.
The Pedestrian is an incredibly unique puzzle game that will challenge you in a new way! This is easily one of my new top puzzle games and I love that I was given the opportunity to be among the first to play through it. I highly recommend it to all puzzle gamers out there and sincerely hope the developers decide to work on a second game for the series.
An enthusiast for all things Horror and often finding myself playing Indie games over AAA. I enjoy writing for games in both the journalist and creative capacity. If I’m not writing or gaming, you can find me at a theme park or convention.
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