Remember those old magazine ads where you could fold the page so that Arrow A met with Arrow B and a completely different picture resulted? What if you had the power to do that with the world around you? You could fold the earth so you could walk to Chicago in three steps, or reach the jar of cookies on the top of the cupboard... Well, Nitrome proudly invites you to start folding the world away in Fault Line, a new puzzle platformer. Plus, you get detachable arms! Sweet.
As in many platform games, your goal is to reach the exit, a purple teleportation pad located somewhere in the level. To move your robotic character, use the [arrow] keys or [WASD]. But jumping around isn't going to be enough, as walls, spikes, and other obstacles may impede your path. Throughout most levels, you'll find "join nodes", which can be used to fold parts of the level together. To do this, click on one node, and drag toward another node. You can see the area that will be lost in the fold outlined in white. To undo a fold, simply click on the joined nodes again (but remember that you can only undo the most recent fold).
Once you get the hang of folding the world, new obstacles will turn up for you to work around. Moving objects may disappear inside the space of a fold then come out on the other side. Lasers are deadly to you, but can be used to break through barriers if you can direct them there. Some levels begin with folds already in place that can't be removed. It takes some skillful maneuvering and some quick thinking to make it through each level.
Analysis: It's weird to think that a staple of Mad magazines since 1964 or a piece of origami could be the basis for a game, but Nitrome pulls it off in stunning fashion. Each fold becomes a calculation, as you try to predict where each move leaves you once the transformation is complete. Some levels even throw in extra nodes as red herrings, so experimentation is crucial to find the way out.
Moving the robot around is simple enough, but occasionally the folding mechanism can be a bit difficult with the mouse. Sometimes, it's hard to make the mouse "lock on" to a certain node, particularly if you're in the middle of moving or if more than one node are right next to each other. Also, it's somewhat irritating not being able to connect to a node just off-screen, but this was probably done to keep folds from being too dramatic, preventing you from just folding the start point right next to the finish.
Fault Line is a clever puzzle platformer that will have you creasing the fabric of the universe with every move. Each level brings a different challenge to the table, requiring you to push your mental folds in a new way. And if you find yourself stuck on a level, simply grab the nearest sheet of paper and experiment. (Just don't try to detach your arms.)