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Rating: 3.8/5 (67 votes)
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joyeLabscapeWhat goes through the head of a scientist head that makes him think, "I will experiment on someone to give him awesome powers beyond the ken of mortal man, and I will treat that someone extremely poorly and keep him locked up! Surely nothing will go wrong with this plan, right?" I mean, scientists are former geeks, right? Didn't they play video games when they were kids? If the villains behind Labscape, a physics puzzle platformer by bart99, had done their gaming homework, they would have realized that spinning blades on trampolines just don't cut it as a security system. But since they didn't, you're going to have to help the blocky-headed hero escape.

The platforming end of things has pretty standard controls. Your choice of [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move and jump, plus the option to use [spacebar] if you desire. [Down] or [S] is used to drag things backwards. On the physics puzzle end of things, there's a toolbar in the upper right with the option to draw rectangles and circles. You select the kind of object you want to draw, then draw it on the level with the cursor. Once drawn, you can move it around by dragging and double click to turn it into a solid object that affects things in the level. You have a limited number of objects to have out at one time on a level, but you can delete objects that you drew incorrectly or simply don't want anymore by selecting the delete button and then clicking on the object.

In each level, you want to get from where you are to the white door. There are a number of mysteriously floating vials in each level which you can collect, but you're not actually required to get all of them to exit.

LabscapeAnalysis: Labscape skews more towards the platform than the puzzle end of the spectrum when it comes to its challenge. While the level designs are clever and frequently charming, with my personal favorite being what I might call "razor blade surfing," it doesn't take more than a little thought to figure out where the missing pieces are that you have to draw. In fact, some levels don't allow you to draw anything at all, falling back on pure platforming.

Therefore, this is more one for the platforming fans who like a little spritz of puzzling. Puzzle fans who aren't very good at platforming will find that it will do better for their blood pressure to skip this one altogether. A few levels seem designed to separate the rage quitters from the real gamers. For example, you finally manage to get across a difficult area to the platform on the other side. Safety! You pause to bask in your triumph for a moment... and the platform drops down, killing you and sending you back to the beginning of the level. It's not quite Unfair Platformer, but you'll be forgiven if you're momentarily tempted to make your mouse a projectile weapon.

After playing through this one, the impression I had is that maybe the scientists aren't trying to keep the hero locked away after all. Maybe this is actually some kind of super harsh training ground for circus performers or Olympic gymnasts. That's the only possible explanation for all the levels involving running atop a large ball like a trained poodle and trampolining around red death lasers, while the aforementioned spinning blade of death surfing could be seen as merely an extremely high motivation training for the balance beam. Completing this game won't necessarily turn you into a lithe athlete, but it will provide a fun little break for your day.

Play Labscape


MexicanPie June 13, 2011 6:35 PM

A boy with super powers gets found by scientists when he gets lost in the forest and the first thing they think is "let's test him Portal-style (deadly with spinning buzz-saws and lasers)", that's just weird.

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Enigmata June 14, 2011 1:22 AM

Really enjoyed that one. Sometimes simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and Labscape a great example. Great level design, decent difficulty and nice use of skill.

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crashlanding Author Profile Page June 14, 2011 6:10 AM

Me gusta.
But the shape drawing tools really need hotkeys, and they really need to be toggle on/off, rather than one use per selection.
Also, where are my achievements! Where's my level select! I collected every one of those damn flasks, I want me some totally superficial self-worth validation >:C.

aside from that, GREAT.

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SkylerF Author Profile Page June 14, 2011 6:15 PM

It won't load. All I get is a blank white box.

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SkylerF Author Profile Page June 14, 2011 6:20 PM

Power of posting. Now it is stuck at 66% and has been so for at least 5 minutes.

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SkylerF Author Profile Page June 14, 2011 6:48 PM

If you collect all the

little yellow potion flasks

, do you

get a different ending?

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LichKing June 15, 2011 2:35 AM

Very clever game! And if you collect all flasks you get a different ending, but it's quite hard... :) I Did it without the walkthrough.

When finishing without collecting all the flasks you just run from the lab, but when collecting all you also blow the lab! :)

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