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Rating: 3.6/5 (65 votes)
| Comments (17) | Views (203)


elleExplore and overcome obstacles in an undefined space of reflection and doubt in Within, Nicolas Lesec's puzzle platform game that begins with a simple concept then layers on the challenges. Using [WAD] or [arrow] keys to move, and [E] to interact with elements, you're tasked with manipulating gravity, deactivating laser beams and following off stage routes until you reach the red door. Go through to another, very similar scenario containing more questions or regret-tinged remarks.

WithinIf the moody introspection and melancholic music were replaced with something more witty and jazzy, it'd better fit the acrobatic feats of timing and spatial reasoning, yet the puzzles are quite enjoyable and the difficulty ramp is well balanced. The sudden ending did leave me wondering what all this effort was about. Perhaps that's the point. If the payoff you're looking for is a clean design to please your eyes and something to entertain your agility and brain power, plunge into Within and enjoy your fifteen minutes of puzzle platformer gratification.

Play Within


silent george Author Profile Page March 12, 2013 1:13 PM

Yep, "fifteen minutes of puzzle platformer gratification" is about right. Very nice, clean design, not innovative but well executed. The emo loss-of-love story is tacked-on, at best, though. I guess not all the narratives can be about captured princesses or mad scientists!

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Username Author Profile Page March 12, 2013 1:17 PM

More like 5 minutes of play.

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In all honesty. I thought that game was a complete waste of time.

We've all seen the screen wrap puzzle type before. It really is a generic puzzle gimmick.

That, and a bunch of text that doesn't tag along to any of the puzzles. It's like we're being given a context and not told what to do with it.

A stick-man pressing a bunch of switches with Gravity Flips and screen-wrapping and lasers rearranged a little does not constitute a game!

1 Star.

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Oh yea. Am I the only who has had the slightest trouble? I can't get past the "What to do?" level.

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i'm stuck at "just lie"

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I sure hope Nicolas is a girl. This is a decent enough, if not too original or challenging, game. But to make this the basis of some pseudo-emotional, hand-washing, love-gone-wrong, angry emo girl story is just...bad. Hike up your skirt, little lady and try again!!

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CrankYanker Author Profile Page March 13, 2013 4:14 AM

Wow, HammyJay, that was quite random.

I'm not sure if I should be offended by your comment, or just to keep re-reading it in hopes of discovering a worthwhile snippet of information in there that wasn't typed by some sort of cro-magnon, pre-1940's, "women belong in the kitchen" old fashioned misogynist.

To be honest, I agree with the second and third sentences of your assessment of the game; The first and fourth sentences have absolutely no place in civilized discussion though.

I have absolutely no connection with Nicolas, and to be honest, don't know or care whether Nicolas is male or female. I do know, however, that on multiple occasions, specifically with smaller independent game releases, game authors do visit here to get feedback on their games. They come here because, by and large, the community here gives meaningful and well reasoned feedback. Nicolas (if he or she does visit), is unlikely to come back after reading your comment, and is unlikely to communicate with any members of the community after such blatantly sexist comments.

Please choose your words more carefully next time, as your opinions unfortunately reflect on our whole community.

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CrankYanker, I'd like to point out I am also a small time Game Developer.

It wouldn't be hard to make a platformer like this. I know, I've made platformers like this.

I know my Critique was harsh, but hey. I'm a GM developer and I know many people in the GM community who have made astounding games that have not been featured on this website.

I feel it unfair that Nicolas gets the advantage to make a mediocre game simply because this was made in flash.

Although, I agree with you on the sexist comments business, that was out of line.

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I have to agree with Elle about the music although very lovely, it doesnt quite fit the quick, sprightly acrobatics.

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CrankYanker Author Profile Page March 13, 2013 12:33 PM

Roytheshort: I have no problem at all with critiques of games, even harsh ones, or criticisms that I don't personally agree with. What I specifically reacted to was the explicit sexism of those specific lines in HammyJay's comment.

I'm not a game developer, but I have done business software development on a few different platforms in the past. I appreciated the feedback that I got from people who used my applications, and that helped me (in my opinion) make better applications.

IMHO, criticism is fair game in a public forum such as this; Where I personally draw the line is with blatantly sexist comments.

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Carny Asada Author Profile Page March 13, 2013 11:38 PM

"Hike up your skirt, little lady girl, and try again" is pretty offensive.

I was actually hoping for a hint on "Just Lie." But, wow.

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I don't think this was a very good game. There have been so many games exploring dating that new games taking on the subject matter need to do something original with it, and I don't think "Within" really did. The main character was having trouble with relationships and then decided to lie about something, ruining things with the person they liked... but it was vague enough that I couldn't tell the specifics of the situation, and it really had nothing to do with the gameplay (which I did enjoy.)

But that has nothing to do with the gender of the developer, and making sexist comments is gross.

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argyblarg Author Profile Page March 14, 2013 8:59 AM

I'm in the same boat.

This is just a simple platformer. It's OK at that. What I can't understand is the current trend of trying to add a "deeper meaning" to a game by adding "deep, meaningful sentences" to each level. Why can't a simple game just be what it is?

I think I should remake Minesweeper in the same fashion. Slow, depressing music. The text on the levels would include: "I'm walking in a minefield." "Nothing is certain." "Everything blows up in my face." "Why can't I ever see what's going on around me?"

I suppose it worked for Braid, and maybe that's where it started (although I didn't care for it there, either).

For "Just lie" (which I thought was the trickiest level):

Take the leftmost gravity reverser, and leap over the chasm to pull the lever. Go to the right until you're standing upside down on the bottom of the screen. Position yourself under the gravity reverser at the top of the screen and jump. When you're back at the bottom, use the left gravity reverser and fly up to the top center reverser. After going through this one, fly to the left. Keep walking until you're at the leftmost edge, but not offscreen. Walk off to the left, and immediately go right when you start falling. There's the door!

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fallinghawks Author Profile Page March 15, 2013 4:59 PM

FYI HammyJay, Nicolas *is* a dude. Shocking to think that a guy is capable of writing a "pseudo-emotional, hand-washing, love-gone-wrong, angry emo girl story," no? Oh the horror! What is your world coming to?

(Answer: the 21st century. Get with it.)

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I guess I'm the only one who actually liked the game...

Even though the design is simplistic and this puzzle has been used before, I feel that the narrative did a decent job of conveying the level layout. What I did enjoy most was that in the love triangle themed story, it was the protagonist who was chasing after the red door. The relationship got out of hand when the protagonist started to use the "gravity switch" to reach the red door. Having the the red door which left you in the end.

I for one really liked that aspect of it, even the music feels as if "Within" was also "Dear Esther" inspired.

If Nicolas Lesec does come here to get feedback, my advice would be to continue with this kind of idea where meaningful narrative can still exist within simple game play, look at "Thomas was alone" for example. Don't give into the nay-sayers and continue to do what you love. :)

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