The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Camilo Aránguiz González 26.03.2016

Review for The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind on Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is far from having a short puzzle game catalogue. The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and his Square Mind oozes charm, from its title to the cartoony-looking presentation. Is personality enough to prevent it from becoming just another drop in the sea of average, easy-to-grab indie games, or are we before a not just good-looking, but also well-thought, puzzle title?

Remember those sliding puzzles from your childhood? They're back, in videogame form! That's one of the first good hits of The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and his Square Mind: it takes a very simple idea that's easy to understand and then starts elaborating on top of it. The concept, while not incredibly original, gets fresher by the fact that the player gets thrown inside the sliding puzzle (where the rooms act as the sliding pieces), allowing them to explore it from a new perspective. Add door-matching, item-collecting, teleporting and lever-activation mechanics, and, even from its hub world, you have an entertaining mix of thought and execution.

Then, of course, it doesn't hurt that the game has a very charming, quirky presentation. The main character is weird (and that's a good thing), the early 20th century mansion scenario looks old and attractive, and the music, although not spectacular, creates the correct atmosphere: finding yourself thinking how to resolve the challenges thrown at you, but never taking itself too seriously.

Graphically, the game isn't close to being a demonstration of the maximum capacity of the 3DS, though. A good example is the death animation for the protagonist and enemies - just a poof of pixels - but the lack in the graphic department is compensated with some amusing, short animations.

Screenshot for The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind on Nintendo 3DS

Then, though, The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and his Square Mind begins to show its flaws. After a few stages (and some more platform-focused ones that stops monotony from showing itself so early), the bad camera control and slow walking character start to become annoying, making the experience a little more tedious than necessary.

These first imperfections are balanced by fairly varied decorations, throwing new little contraptions into the mix in each of the eight worlds, and the exquisite way the story slowly unfolds itself, letting escape the exact amount of information stage by stage.

However, story and presentation aren't enough to hide this title's biggest flaw: its identity crisis and its frustrating consequences. In one hand, controls and level design inhibit a well-crafted, precise platform experience; and in the other hand, the limited puzzle mechanics don't allow a deep, addictive puzzle-resolving involvement. In that disjunction, plus the almost absolute absence of replay value, is where the biggest part of the good job made is lost.

Frustration could be a very accurate final word: inside the game, it's a feeling present more than it should be, and at the outside, the thought of "could've been so much better" leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Screenshot for The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

This is a competent puzzle game that gets the job done, with an original and interesting presentation and personality. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and his Square Mind is just a nice anecdote in the vast 3DS indie library.

Developer

Delirium Studios

Publisher

Delirium Studios

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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