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Simple and unique are the reasons we seek out games in the independent games industry. The Pedestrian is a good example of bringing a well-known concept–like puzzle-platformers–and adding in something we see every single day on bathroom signs, or crosswalks, etc., to create something familiar yet very creative. The environments keep changing. In the demo, we start at a reception area and progress through what seems like a storage or warehouse facility, keeping it real: just like our character needs to head somewhere. We would have to see more whether there is a story but for now it does it give it more purpose. In addition, to accompany the puzzle, the music is rather relaxing and upbeat, perhaps most sounding like subtle elevator music.
Now for gameplay, The Pedestrian is two-fold. On one hand, we need to navigate our character through the puzzle. On the other hand, we need to put together the puzzle by moving the panels on the screen to allow the connections to fit. We need to connect doors mostly, but as the puzzles gain in difficulty as in the demo, we need to also scale in the sequence of turning on little contraptions blocking the way or collecting a key to unlock closed doors or which ladder or door to connect to among our choices to successfully reach the exit. What starts off as a simple puzzle at the beginning already feels more challenging in a good way. We need to imagine the trajectory of our character and figure it out. We can already see signs of how these puzzles can increase in difficulty but still capture our attention.
The Pedestrian’s demo shows a lot of potential. It is simple but creative and unique. While it is easy to create puzzles with a static blank background, The Pedestrian chooses to add more detail and let the signs be in different locations as we navigate the character out the exit of the puzzle to the next sign, the character vanishes but the camera will follow as we move around corners, for example, into the next area/puzzle. The demo may be short but it gives us a good idea of the potential behind the game. The key now is to see how it plays as a full game, whether it has a lasting hold and hopefully, progress in difficulty gradually. To say the least, we are impressed.
The Pedestrian is currently in its final hours of Kickstarter. You can read more here.