Here's an argument in favour of cloning... Your pet has gone missing and you need help to locate it. Wait, hear me out. I mean, who would know your pet as well as you do? You, of course, and having another you to help out could be pretty handy. In Duplicator, a tricky platform puzzler by Z3lf, we find out just how useful a cloned copy of ourselves in the search for a wandering pet can be.
In the tradition of the platform genre, use the [WASD] keys, or if you're left-handed use the [arrow] keys to move the character around, using the mouse to interact with objects in the environment, and to create your duplicates and checkpoints. The platform element is smooth and relatively easy, and interacting with objects is also smoothly achieved with a left-click of the mouse. It's the puzzle elements that prove to be the most challenging aspect of the game.
Duplicator presents beautifully, with simple gray-toned graphics, sublime gameplay and moody music. The premise is fairly basic; manouvre the character through a myriad of rooms, using lifts, collecting coins and avoiding some annoying and vicious little televisions, to locate a missing pet. Where the game falls a little short, is that it's essentially an unforgiving game. Once you enter a room, there's no turning back which can be frustrating. Duplicates can be made of the character itself and crates, and the duplicating mechanism requires energy points. Unfortunately, amassing energy is not an option. As you enter each room, the energy level resets providing a limited amount of energy to be used for each puzzling situation. This too is limiting as there are areas that could be explored but are largely superfluous to the game because of the energy constraints. Being able to collect energy points would have provided more scope for exploring and attaining a higher score. There is an auto-save feature in the game, which is generally a blessing but making a mistake may mean having to start the game over.
Despite its shortcomings, Duplicator provides some challenging puzzles and an hour or more of ambient diversion. The appealing presentation combined with fluid platforming override the difficulties of the game, and the puzzles will get you thinking and may even test your patience.
So prepare for the world of duplication; it's a little bit weird, a little bit tricky, but well worth a look.
Thanks to Avinash, Donut, and Ruslan for sending this one in!