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Rating: 4.3/5 (22 votes)
Comments (12) | Views (1,805)

recluse.gifJohnBRecluse is a short, cute, and creative metroidvania-style platform adventure game from chambers that tied for eighth place in the most recent Ludum Dare compo. Centered around the "tiny world" theme, you play a snail who has never left its shell and is now ready to emerge into the world. While much of the gameplay is standard platform fare, there is a unique mechanic that makes Recluse worth experiencing: screen shoving!

Wrapped up in the vaguely spiral world of the shell, you begin in a tiny room where you learn your first few moves, including simple walking and jumping. Then, you notice there's a little open spot on the right side of the wall. You don't seem to be able to walk through it, though. If you push against the edge of the game window for a brief moment, you'll actually resize the window from within the game. Not only can you enlarge the window by pushing it horizontally, you'll also use your noggin' to expand it higher and smash down to expand it below. It's simple, but it's pretty neat in practice, and it totally makes the game more interesting than your standard platform adventure!

In addition to the window shoving mechanic, Recluse also stashes a few powers around the shell, including things like a ground pound and double jump. There are enemies, save points and hearts to collect, too, but you'll be so focused on where to go and which part of the window to move next you won't pay as much attention to these as you would in a similar game. Apart from the items and abilities mentioned, there isn't much more to Recluse. It's a short and very sweet experience, good for a distraction and a few smiles!

Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the free full version

Download the free full version


I don't like the heart system here. I lost the hearts, and I can't get them back, so I'm dying a lot.


What am I doing wrong?

I downloaded and extracted then get the following error message from Java Virtual Machine Launcher - "Could not find the main class. Program will exit!"

Buttons May 26, 2012 11:17 AM

Found a weird bug/feature: if you press P (you know, like "pause"), it expands the screen to full size and warps you to the end. It was a bit of an anticlimax.


Thanks JohnB

Seems like I had about 10 old versions but not the current one :)

blalien May 26, 2012 12:53 PM

I enjoyed it. The trick is to study the bugs' patterns and work around them. Does anything different happen in the end if you get all the collectibles?

Buttons May 26, 2012 1:08 PM

@JohnB: This is on a Mac. I'm guessing it's unintentional if it doesn't work in other versions.

Eden Nov May 26, 2012 3:23 PM



The screen resizing works cleverly as part of the exploration, maybe more than it has any right to. Interesting!

billyswong May 27, 2012 7:31 AM

I sorta pressed-away the instruction on small snail accidentally too fast. Could anybody tell me what's the key required to activate that?

billyswong May 27, 2012 8:20 AM

forget it. I just restarted the game


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