Youropa (PC) Review

By Colin Beauchamp 02.08.2018

Review for Youropa on PC

One of the most important and interesting aspects of Super Mario Galaxy was its gravity mechanics, which offered a unique twist on its platforming and environments. What would it be like if it an entire puzzle game was made from that gimmick, though? Youropa, which has been in development for 10 years, answers that question while adding its own unique flavour. How well does it all work, though? It's time to find out and delve into the dreamlike world of Youropa to see what makes it tick.

Youropa starts off with a simple but effective opening: a shot of the Eiffel Tower is presented, only for it to break into hundreds of pieces, suspended in mid-air. The camera soon shifts over to you, the protagonist, as you begin your mission to get over there and figure out why gravity has become so wonky. There's very little information presented to you through text, as you will need to put the pieces together alone.

This may throw players for a loop at first, but everything becomes easy to understand once realising the game's main rules. The first rule is that if walking onto a curved surface, you will stick to any surface attached to that slope, regardless of its position, allowing walking on walls, ceilings, and so on - anything works, as long as approaching it through a curved surface. The second rule is that when you walk off a surface, you will always fall down, regardless of gravitational position; for example, if walking on a ceiling, and then attempting to walk off of that surface, you will fall down.

Screenshot for Youropa on PC

These rules already present potential for some creative puzzles, but the game goes much further than sticking to just that. Moving through the game, players will unlock abilities that are imperative to progress, such as being able to kick or hold objects. These abilities will also allow returning to previous rooms to use those upgrades to open new paths (leading to more rooms) and earn more collectibles, so in a way it's almost structured like a Metroidvania, at least in a loose sense.

It's not just new abilities that you regularly unlock, either, but new mechanics frequently get introduced, as well, even down to the last few levels. Some of these mechanics are introduced to create new puzzles that correspond with new abilities, while other new mechanics are added to stack onto the pile of already present mechanics to create increasingly complex challenges. It's refreshing to be consistently looking forward to seeing how the game will evolve next, even down to the finale.

Screenshot for Youropa on PC

One thing that really sticks out about the puzzle design in Youropa is how organic it is. There's a consistent set of rules, but many puzzles will challenge you to think outside the box, and it makes these puzzles feel lovingly crafted instead of formulaic and rigid. There are some extremely clever solutions in some of these puzzles, and it encourages gamers to always stay on their toes and think about new ways to tackle deceptively simple obstacles. There are even a few large-scale puzzles, where you have to navigate through a whole set of levels to slowly piece together the solution to one giant stage.

Youropa deserves credit for its stellar presentation, too. The environments and music feel calming, yet mysterious, and are overall soothing to be in. The backgrounds and atmosphere are incredibly relaxing, which is a great fit for a puzzler like this. There's a lot of attention to detail with how its universe is designed, and this trait of attention to detail is something that holds true for the rest of the game, as well.

Screenshot for Youropa on PC

Each level also contains multiple collectibles for you to find, some of which will require (or at least are made easier by) upgrades from previous levels, but most will require you to use strategic thinking via the current move-set to get to them, as well as a strong sense of exploration to check every nook and cranny. There's a compelling reason to go for these collectibles, as they unlock new items to use in the game's level editor, which is supposed to have online level sharing added in an update in the very near future.

It should be emphasised just how strong Youropa is from start to finish. It starts off solid enough (albeit slightly confusing at first), but as you go on, the mechanics just get deeper and deeper, and players are always presented with new challenges that still manage to maintain a perfect difficulty curve. It's great when a game has really fleshed out each of its elements, and makes you feel like having gotten all that was possible out of all of the mechanics. The pacing here is fantastic, and makes a relatively short experience (approximately four hours without spending too much time getting collectibles) feel like it's lasted much longer in the best way possible, making you wish it didn't have to end.

Screenshot for Youropa on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Youropa is a fantastic puzzle platformer that is fresh, unique, and delightfully challenging from beginning to end. It constantly throws in new mechanics and upgrades, while still making sure players have mastered each one before moving onto the next and making things more complicated. Its dreamlike atmosphere is inviting, and although the game isn't long, if you don't plan on going for collectibles or using the level editor, every minute of it is a joy to play.

Developer

frecle ApS

Publisher

frecle ApS

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   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Ofisil, RudyC3

There are 2 members online at the moment.