The World Begins with You
You come to your senses in some sort of ancient temple, shortly after being told you've been asleep too long and you need to wake up and leave the place (a bit cliché, I know, but stick with me here!). Ruins surround you, and you don't quite remember where you are or what you're doing here. You are a small, humanoid type creature with a small light near your head - at least, it appears to be your head - as what will sometimes be the only light to guide your way. There don't seem to be others around, so you may well be taking your journey in solitude. There are scratchings in a form resembling hieroglyphics around you that you can seem to make sense of. Will they guide you on a path to enlightenment or just lead you on a wild goose chase?
Once you have taken in the scenes of your...prison? shattered home? resting place?...it's not quite clear, but you step out into a vast landscape. The immediate sensation that soon strikes you is that of a vast openness and emptiness. Sure, there's lots of big, open spaces, but where did everyone else go? Am I suddenly alone, the only sentient being on a forsaken planet? Soon enough though, your sense of abandonment turns to wonder as you wander over the surface, eager to seek and explore what might be awaiting you.
As it turns out, this will be through a sequence of puzzles and keyed, subtle messages carved into rocks or stone in a strange, foreign language. But somehow your character can make sense of them, as they eagerly translate them for you. And without failure, every time they meet your touch they light up and open access to the next area.
One of the interesting things, as well as one of my pet peeves, about The World Begins with You was the camera usage. In particular, the camera angle and orientation were restricted to a single view for each spot in the game. Unfortunately, rotating the camera or looking around more was not possible in this piece as it was made for a game jam under time constraints. It does somewhat take away from the aura of exploration and mystery in my opinion when one is blocked from at least rotating the view whilst playing. It also strongly discourages you from straying to the fixed, linear path intended by the storyline, as your character becomes a tiny speck in the distance should you attempt to wonder off. Even following the prescribed path, one can have difficulty determining how to move when the angel is "edge-on" in places. On the other hand, given the fact that the game was set up and conducted in this fashion, the camera angle, sizing, and zoom were chosen well and were probably close to ideal in terms of the sense of smallness the author meant to convey.
The shadow balancing also felt a bit iffy in places. Particularly in some of the darker patches, it becomes difficult to see and navigate due to absence of ambient light and the lack of contrast. It wasn't too bad though, so perhaps there is just a fine line between exploration and stumbling around in the dark. More even lighting, better contrast, or a brighter light source from the character's head might have mitigated this a tad better.
In terms of controls, you can navigate the world/scroll through menus by employing [WASD]. Holding the left [Shift] key allows you to run faster. Pressing [Space] allows you to jump and [Esc] pauses the game. To confirm a choice, press [Enter]. You can also press [C] to crouch and use [E] to interact with various objects along your journey. You'll see them pointed out to you by a small white outline in the shape of a circle when you get close enough. In addition to these keyboard controls, one can also plug in and use a game controller, if desired.
The World Begins with You will most readily be enjoyed by fans at the intersection of puzzle/platform games with an open-world, experimental twist. The sound effects and flow of the game overall are quite good, and while some puzzles are of moderate difficulty, it is nothing that you won't be able to solve with some intuition and a few tries. [Author name]'s game has few words in it other than the short passages found intermittently throughout as one progresses, and considering the game environment, it is befittingly so. Although I've said fervent fans of similar games and genres will certainly get the most enjoyment out of this, it's definitely worth a look and some patience on the part of newcomers to look around as well. I don't know that there is ultimately a moral to the story, but The World Begins with You is one of those games that provides an authentic experience that seems to speak volumes and leave you filled with wonder, even with so few written words.
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