People complain about shoehorned motion controls or games that do not use motion controls at all, therefore not “justifying” their existence on the Wii. Personally, I find it much more offensive when a developer doesn’t leverage the controller’s capabilities when they would obviously have been an improvement over what was settled on. There is a surprising number of games out there that have made me think “Are you kidding me!?” when they have me tilting an object using buttons. Thankfully, developer Broken Rules has not adopted the lazy approach when porting their game And Yet It Moves, a game all about twisting and turning the world around your character, from the PC to the Wii.
I usually don’t spent any time explaining a game’s story in my reviews. As it turns out, Broken Rules spends no time with story either! There is NO narrative in this game, so if you need to know why you need to get your little guy to the exit and that “because” is not a sufficient answer for you, you should probably look elsewhere.
But those for whom challenge and satisfying gameplay mechanics are reason enough to pick up a controller are in for a treat. AYIM is at its core a platformer: you control a paper cut-out-looking character through maze-like levels. However, his abilities are severely limited. He can only jump a few feet high, does not run very fast, and will shatter in pieces if he falls from too high. Thankfully, you do not control simply the character, but also the level he finds himself in. Simply hold A on your remote, twist it like a door knob; and the world on screen twists with it. It feels great, it’s extremely intuitive, it’s very precise, and it’s a definite improvement over the PC version in which you could only rotate the screen by 90 degrees.
Throughout the 3 hour campaign, you will realize just how useful and versatile this ability is. Not only can you now essentially walk on walls and ceilings, not only can you create an incline in order to go faster or soften a fall, but you can also affect the unattached objects in the environment to solve puzzles. A monkey throws a coconut at you? Press A and flip the world: the coconut keeps it’s trajectory but now the monkey is on the receiving end. Strangely satisfying.
It’s a short game, but it does have a wealth of extra modes to keep you playing. There are time trials for each level, for instance. I did a few of them, and they were fun, but at one point I hit a brick wall in the game (almost literally) and kept getting crushed to death by the same obstacle, again and again. That meant restarting the level again and again, and dealing with the load times: at least 8 seconds each time. Those made me stop playing earlier than I would have liked.
Other modes include Limited Rotations, also fun, and Survival, which takes away the infinite lives. Both are pretty self-explanatory and, while Survival doesn’t sound very exciting, it does change the way you play.
Then there are a plethora of in-game achievements that are fun to try, for instance completing a level without moving or jumping; only twisting the world around you. Or falling from the beginning of a level and crash at the exit, all in one go.
Really, it’s only the brevity of the experience and a few technical problems that prevent me from recommending it more. And despite the problems, I still think there is a good amount of replay value. There are longer games available on Wiiware, and the PC version of AYIM is cheaper on PC, but it plays better to the point of being a different game thanks to the Wii remote, and it is an experience that platformer fans shouldn’t miss.
Definitely a fun game. The physics are interesting. I think it started off a bit slow for me, then picked up... then slowed down a bit somewhere near the middle/last half, then picked up again. This may have been more due to the moods I was in while playing than actual gameplay balance though.
Another thing worth noting is that there are various control methods. I didn't really like the turn like a key method, but another lets you kind of "grab" the screen with the pointer and pull it either clockwise or counterclockwise, this method felt much better for me.
One thing that slightly bugged me was that the game kept losing track of the pointer when I was pointing directly at the screen. Just for an instant, it didn't really affect the gameplay, but it was weird, and doesn't happen with any of my other games. Just worked a bit against the part of me that is easily annoyed by tiny things.
I played the demo and it convinced me to buy the game for super cheap on Steam. Very fun little game. It IS better with the Wii remote controls, though, and the developers should be applauded for changing things to take advantage of them.
Interesting. I was so satisfied with the default control option (default when you've got a Nunchuck plugged in, anyway) that I didn't even look at the other options, but using the pointer to drag the screen around sounds pretty cool.