Causality (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 07.02.2017

Review for Causality on PC

Time is a common theme in video games. Whether it's rewinding your decisions in Life is Strange or manipulating the landscape in Braid, humans are simply obsessed with controlling time—so obsessed, in fact, some scientists in the real world have poured thousands of hours into understanding it. One common area of research is causality, or the idea that all events in the present are caused by events in the past; for example, Causality is a game about manipulating time you might eventually play, but will this review be the reason?

Causality is about guiding astronaut-like people to a panel that is the same colour as the one on their designated suit. The astronauts are not physically moved, as their path has already been determined. Instead, you will manipulate their path to guide them into their respective spots. This happens when the mouse is dragged down the screen, allowing absolute control of the great hourglass.

To be clear, the player's involvement is at the absolute minimum. They must turn arrow panels at certain points in the level, then drag the mouse up or down to either move time forward or back. The controls for time movement may sound absurd, but they work so well it almost feels like any other control scheme would be less than. Because you'll have to drive time to a certain point, then manipulate the environment more before going forward more, the player is always in contact with their interface, essentially the mouse and screen.

It may sound like it would be possible for the player to just drive time forward till they figure it out, never having to rewind, but there is only a finite amount of time to work with. It's a nice goal to remain within, as the player is given restrictions, but won't have to worry about long loading screens between failures.

The artwork is absolutely adorable, with the astronauts looking akin to game board pieces. The levels themselves are a bit dull, but in general it all works fairly well. However, not everything seems to work quite as nicely.

Screenshot for Causality on PC

The aforementioned time constraints, and even the puzzle layouts, sometimes seem a bit unfair, with there being a lot of goals you'll come up short on, just because you haven't nailed down the exact, to the letter, way the game expects you to play it. Now, this is all in the creative license of the developer, but it would have been nice to have multiple options for solving some of the more complex puzzles. Not a huge complaint, but with the mechanic, it could have been a lot more interesting.

To the credit of the sound designers, the soundtrack, or more the use of mere ambient noise, is simple, yet outstanding. While some noises can be a little annoying due to poor default volume, the majority of the sounds work beautifully. Even the irritating ones, such as the beeping of what can be assumed is a life support system, aren't so annoying that they require turning down the volume. In truth, the ambient audio makes the player feel lost in the depths of time, and, consequentially, space. It's easy to feel for the little astronauts, as the sounds make the maelstrom feel very real.

Don't take these as a sign of absolute failure. Causality is brilliant; it's just that there are a few minor things that the game suffers for. The central mechanic is a blast, and the developers come up with some really creative ways of implementing it. The simple interface, enticing graphics, and solid central mechanic, would be enough to make this highly recommended. Thanks to the excellent execution on top of all that, though, this is a strong recommendation that feels truly one of a kind.

Screenshot for Causality on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Causality takes the tried and true time mechanic many puzzle games use, and gives it a lot of depth. By pacing the introduction of new mechanics, and just being incredibly charming, Causality shows it knows how to mix form and function, and leaves gamers with an experience they truly can't get anywhere else. Its flaws are minor, and this leftfield title is sure to keep you playing with time for a while.

Developer

Loju

Publisher

Loju

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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