Manifold


(12 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (43) | Views (183)

manifold2.gifJohnBManifold is a physics-based action/puzzle game created by artist and designer Joel Esler. Use special orbs that can alter gravity within a small radius to climb your way through dangerous situations. It's a simple idea that's been paired with smart artistic direction to create a game that pleases the senses as well as your sense of fun.

Control the bug-like character with the arrow (or A, D, W) keys and use the mouse to move the pointer. The cursor allows you to create gravity wells by aiming at a target then dragging the mouse to indicate gravity direction. The character will toss a ball that will open the gravitational disturbance when it comes in contact with a wall. You can create as many wells as you have balls to toss and can re-absorb unused areas by moving the cursor over one and tapping the spacebar.

Gravity bubbles don't just push you in a certain direction, they actually shift the gravity within the sphere, allowing you to walk on walls and ceilings inside its borders. This opens up a huge range of possibilities in terms of action and puzzle situations, and Manifold's levels force you to get pretty creative with your gravity-defying skills.

In later levels when you have more gravity orbs to throw around, things get really interesting. You'll find yourself suspended upside-down on a ceiling with saw blades buzzing below, the only thing keeping you alive being the chain of gravity wells you're constantly creating and absorbing. Just enough thrills to keep you glued to the keyboard for the next level.

Manifold has a very clean look thanks to its simple but tasteful design. It's an excellent example of pairing artistic vision with great gameplay to craft an experience that's truly worth your time.

Play Manifold

Cheers to Charles for suggesting this one! =)

Due to popular demand, Joel has released an update to the game with more levels, some of them quite devious in design!

43 Comments

I was just coming here to suggest this one.

Funny, I didn't know you could walk on the walls or the ceiling. I beat every level just hurling my little guy through the air.

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urgh, its too short!

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This game is addicting. This game is frustrating. So I guess this game is "addictrating", or something like that. I really like this game. You are evil, Jay, you made me lose my whole night...=P

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Still, should have some more levels.

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A little glitch you can take advantage of, if you choose:

You can gain an extra anomaly by using the following technique:
1.) Before you finish the level, make sure you have a gravity anomaly still present in the screen.
2.) Position the cursor over the anomaly before you step into the beam of light that ends the level.
3.) Just as you jump into the beam of light at the end of the level, press space bar to collect the anomaly.
The timing is a bit tricky, but if you do it correctly, you'll end up with one more anomaly to than you're supposed to have when you start out the next level.

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I think this is an outstanding game!
The idea is elegant and original and in my opinion, the execution in its stylized beauty is in the top 5%.

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I agree with Philipp. This game is a thing of beauty, in gameplay as well as in art style. Very well done.

I especially like the subtle details like the blur filter on the turning saw blades.

Did anyone else think of Rayman with the player character?

Please make more levels, Joel. :)

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What a wonderful game. Interesting design and great gameplay. I keep playing it over and over again just because I like it so much.

More levels please!

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this is one of the best i have played in a long time...
A+

now just add more levels :D

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Is there an ending of any kind? I finished a level where I had to walk up a wall and across the ceiling to avoid a blade, and after I stepped into the transporter, it went right back to the title screen. Did I finish the game, or is that a bug? I don't really recall being "suspended upside-down on a ceiling with saw blades buzzing below, the only thing keeping you alive being the chain of gravity wells you're constantly creating and absorbing," so I'm wondering if I've missed out on something.

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Wow. I wasn't sure what to expect from this game, but I really enjoyed it. Artistry, gameplay, execution--all done very well. I especially like how the background changes color when you die. Er, not that I fell victim to those gears or saw blades very often, of course.

The only thing lacking is, as others have said above, more levels. :)

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I dont know, I didnt really care for this game. Got bored with it pretty fast. I didnt get all the way through it, but I didnt feel like playing after the first 5 stages or so.

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Very fun, disappointingly short. I've always loved the idea of tampering with gravity at will. I think a freeform level thing would be really fun for this.

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William Shubert September 26, 2007 12:17 AM

Gaaah! My mouse control was so screwed up that the game became unplayable.

Not sure what was wrong, but it was just awful.

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This is a really neat concept. Somehow the silhouette effect makes the death splat all the more gruesome.

I'm terrible at tossing the balls in mid-flight, though. I can't even make it past the level in the screenshot.

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Solution to the level in the screenshot:

Use the gravity fields to walk up the wall and ceiling. Place them on the left wall, one a little higher than the other, with gravity pointing towards the wall. Walk into the next one, grab the previous one, etc. Keep overlapping them, and slowly make your way around the room clockwise, until you get to the exit.
Unfortunately, that's it for now, that is the last level.

More levels! This is a great game.

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there is only one downfall to this game

it is too short

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I'm not sure the game is too short.

I mean sure, you want to play more. I do too. But by the end of the levels it has the game has used all the simple, elegant level ideas. Adding a dozen more levels where you throw the little dude around in hard-to-execute ways and pick up anomalies as you're flying through the air... I'm not sure that would add much and the game would lose some of its elegance and charm.

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This is an awesome game, but it's way too short. I can see a lot of different things that can be done with the concept. For example, using the gravity orbs to move other objects around?

In fact, gravity would be an interesting theme for a future JiG competition, hint hint?

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I think I'd like to see a LEVEL EDITOR for this game!

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Very cool idea.
Really fun.
WAY too short!
More levels please!

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If this game didn't have the custom cursor rendering it unplayable, I'm sure I would have loved it.

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way cool came...didn't realize I started playing...thought it was a long tutorial...lol...kind ok reminds me of that LIMBO vaporware game.
http://www.limbogame.org/

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How to 'seed'* your gravity balls:

Especially in the last level with the blade on your left wall, it's important you 'seed' your gravity balls well. A good way I find is to seed while jumping. Careful, though! If you jump outside of your gravity bubble it's back to beginning if not death! Each gravity bubble shows three arrows. If you stand in the middle arrow you can jump the highest. And that way, when you jump nice and high you can target you 'seeding' much better!

*is there an other word available? I feel dirty...

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Amazing game, however as many people have said it is far too short.

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Needs a level editor
and perhaps a multiplayer version
you could use the gravity balls to hinder your opponets

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this guy throws horribly. trying to get him to throw in the direction that he is facing and where the mouse is pointing seems to be the hardest part of the puzzle.

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More than half the time I can't even get the guy to throw. It keeps popping up where he is, and consequently, I can't get past a level.
I love the game though. It is quite elegant, as other have said. I especially love the gravity effect when inside the bubble. The boyancy is quite realistic. Cheers!

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Hey guys

Hoping someone can help me out. I'm stuck on level 10 (that's 10 counting the two intro training levels) with the saw on the wall to the right. I'm guessing you have to walk up the left wall and then over the ceiling. My only problem is that when I try to throw a gravity seed thing at the ceiling, the cursor moves out of the window before the arrow is long enough for ir to count as a throw. Basically, I'll left click when the cursor is right at the ceiling, then I move the mouse up, and once the arrow is established, he won't throw. I hope I'm describing this well. Am I using the right method to get out of this level? Is the problem I'm describing just part of the game? I'm playing in IE 7, for what it's worth.

Thanks

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Had the same thing happen as Neddo... on the level with a cliff on the right which has a gear, with two balls, you walk up the left and across the ceiling, and when you hit the exit there's no message-- just straight to the title screen. Are we missing something?

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He throws in the direction of the initial click. ...if that helps.

Neat twist for those that already beat it. Try it again without the "jump" [w] key. :)

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Count my vote for more levels!

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I beat it without realizing you could collect the anomalies you've already thrown. The last one was tricky, but it's definitely possible without collecting any :).

And if you can't figure it out:

You can double the strength of an anomaly by placing two in the same spot.

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Also, I agree with Dom that it's not necessarily too short as it is. However, if a few more details were added like one use only anomalies and a couple other things I haven't thought of, it could be made a lot longer but still engaging.

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Wow, this game is really fun xD.

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i cant pass level 3

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nice game im looking forward to a player made lvl thng or a #2 mabey with like a story line or sommat u know like defete this guy block his shots backat him so on

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This game is nice, it need more levels tho

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AnyGivenSunday October 10, 2007 8:12 AM

Beautiful designed game, but i have to agree with y'all: too few levels!

anyway, nice gameplay.

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Note the new update to this game, Fold.

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I think its an awesome game and it may be a little to short but the gameplays really cool and I agree with some of you other guys it would be nice to hane a level editor, but a two player? how you gonna have two mice?
:-/

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What is the difference between a fish and a gold chain?

One is neck-less, and the other is a necklece! LOL!!!! LMAO!!!!

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put a walkthrough please!

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