Carto’s cozy puzzles are tough enough


screenshot: Sunhead Game / Kotaku

Ask people which superpower they want and you’ll probably hear the same answer. Flight. Super powerful. Invisible. You are less likely to hear about unusual things, such as the ability to literally reshape the planet to suit your needs.Such ability is at the heart of CartoA cozy adventure game that gives you enormous power but not so much responsibility.

First released in October for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch and PC. Carto Cast you as a famous up-and-coming cartographer. At the beginning of the game, the cult travels around the world via an airship with her grandmother, herself a map lover. Lightning strikes the airship. Carto rolls down and wakes up in an unfamiliar land, with lots of map fragments. It’s a familiar start, but Carto is endowed with the unfamiliar power of complete spatial reconstruction.

CartoThe map is displayed as a set of terrain-related tiles, such as forests, coastlines, and what you have. At any point in the game, you can pop open the map, pick up those tiles, rotate them, move them, and place them elsewhere. You can even do so for the tiles you are standing on, it’s an easy way to carry yourself around the world. The only pitfall is Encrusted with jewels-The style requires the terrain of the tile border to match the border of adjacent tiles. For example, forest tiles cannot be meshed with grassland tiles. But if the forest tile is semi-grassland, you can rotate it to sit the two together.

It’s very similar FezThe basic mechanism can raise one question on the nature of perspective, the limits of observation, and the unstable foundation on which everything we can perceive (what we cannot perceive) is built.

GIF: Sunhead Game / Kotaku

How the map is formed has a real impact on the traversing world and is essential to the solution. CartoPuzzle. The core mechanics of the game (picking up tiles and rearranging them as needed) remain the same, but the individual puzzles are not repeated. Let’s say someone mentions meeting at a pier on the North Shore. But the pier tiles are now on the south side of the island where you are. Yes, You understand, You need to find that place on the north shore.. it’s simple. Pick up the pier tile and connect it to the island where you are, facing north. But you won’t find the same exact conundrum again.

Other puzzles may include assembling river tiles into neat circles, rebuilding a map on a flock of sheep, or arranging forest tiles in the exact direction the fallen tree points to. And the only way to understand what you should do is to interact with the environment. It’s talking to other characters or sometimes reading literal symbols. It’s a great little trick to get you engaged in every corner of the world.

Sometimes puzzles rely on environmental clues that are a bit too subtle to register. The game does not always clearly communicate your goals. At one point, I spent what felt like a slow-paced DC movie length wandering through the woods. ole When I quickly accessed Google, I was told that I needed to pay attention to the direction in which the tree shook in the wind … but the tree shook back and forth, swaying back and forth. So even after cheating (which sue me), solving the puzzle required frustrating trial and error.

But in general CartoThe puzzle has hit the sweet spot so far. Even if you’re using a painfully clear solution (create a viable dirt path, get it, and connect dirt paths), try it a few times. They can never be too easy, but you can never be stupid by missing an obvious answer. If Goldilocks looks for a puzzle game, she will play Carto..

carto and many friends

screenshot: Sunhead Game / Kotaku

All of this is already wrapped in a warm embrace of Twee’s aesthetic that extends far beyond Twee’s visuals. As you walk through the trees, you’ll hear the same crickets you hear when you’re in a lakeside hut. Solving the puzzle will trigger a bright minimalist musical signal. You will be friends with a worm that appears to crawl out of Eric Carle’s beautiful heart. There is a lasting comfort that makes you feel nothing wrong, it will really come true.

Anyway, the stakes aren’t that high. Yes, your ultimate goal is to reunite the cult with her grandma. However, Nana is always in touch through notes scribbled on paper planes. (See? Do so.) As the nights last longer and the days get colder, Carto Is a kind of small and cozy game that I want to get lost in. When you’re done, up-and-coming cartographers may help you find ways to return to a larger, wider, and less comfortable reality.

Smaller gems

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