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Launched on August 8th, Eraser, by Vietnam based Hiker Games, has you play as a little designer guy trapped in his blueprint nightmare running towards the end. You need to escape the blueprint before the red marker catches up to you and rids you from existence. In the meantime, you have to erase certain bits to create the path clear of obstacles to reach your destination. In terms of the story, this means helping the designer complete their blueprints before the deadline.
In many ways, Eraser is like the crushing feeling of a deadline looming over our heads. With a time crunch in the form of our danger being a red marker tracing our movements and chasing our character, we need to act fast. The premise and ideas behind this are very creative. There are different sorts of bars we can erase that has different purposes. There are items to lift us up, springs to take us to higher areas and even enemies resembling brain dead zombie-like creatures that will obliterate us in our path.
However, the last point leads us to where the game needs a little more polishing. I am aware that the game was recently released and I’m sure it is still a work in progress. However, we still need to point out that while the ideas are fresh, the gameplay suffers from lack of precision and sensitivity. As well as lack of clear instructions. There are a lot of mechanics here. Some that are quite straightforward and it doesn’t take long before we can figure it out. But, there was instructions for the starting areas, then we don’t get the idea of what to interact with. That is a minor issue compared to the how the game, especially when needing to work fast requires extreme precision but doesn’t offer the functionality smooth enough. There are times, for example, I’m removing a delicate portion and it doesn’t react, causing the death and retrying until we get the perfect point. That is a recipe for impending frustration.
Also, being a puzzle fan, I can understand the need for challenge. I can appreciate a good level of difficulty. However, there also needs to be an understanding that players will get stuck. With a limited time frame and not being able to look forward to think ahead to at least plan a little more on harder levels, it takes trial and error many times before moving forward. This is where I would suggest a hint button. As a puzzle game lover, as much as a game is fun, when I am stuck longer than I need to, frustration builds and that is when it is time to change to another game regardless of how creative it all is.
There are issues in Eraser to improve on. However, there is a lot of merit as well. For one, the music itself is encouraging and fun. It helps wanting to continue to get to the end. At the same time, the color scheme and art style is also quite fun. It seems simple but also works well. It gives the idea of objects places on a piece of paper moving about, capturing the story that the game is about.
Eraser has a good idea and fun premise. It just needs to work on various aspects for its players to make sure that it doesn’t become a frustrating experience. The fast-paced, physics-based take on a puzzle platformer is done well enough that it is one that you should check out. The game is available in the iTunes Store and on Google Play.
Developer: Hiker Games
Platform: Puzze, platformer
Release Date: August 8