On a week of big video game releases like Returnal and Pokemon Snap, it’s worth taking the time to show some love for smaller independent games that also achieve great things. One such indie gem is There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension, which is our pick for this Friday’s RadioTimes.com Game of the Week.
After originally launching on PC, Mac and mobile last year, There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension recently arrived on Nintendo Switch, where it is sure to find legions of new fans. A comedic puzzle game that pokes fun at the gaming world, this is a game that we think you’ll love if you give it a chance. It’ll certainly impress you with its ingenuity.
The experience of playing There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension starts off in a novel way, with a menu screen that urges you not to interact with it. There’s nothing to see here, or so you’re encouraged to believe. It’s up to the player to work out what’s going on, a task that often requires you to disassemble, destroy and repurpose the items that are presented to you. Soon enough, you’ll be unscrewing various parts of this menu screen and finding innovative ways to progress. There’s a sense of true playfulness here and, every time you work out what you’re meant to do, it feels like you’ve achieved something.
From this strong start, things go to some very interesting places, and you’ll eventually find yourself thrust into totally different games, each of which has its own glitchy problems. These games-within-the-game are often superbly silly, and they’re almost always surprising in the way they subvert your expectations. From a Sherlock Holmes game where you can control the scenery around the bamboozled detective, to an old-school Zelda wannabe where you have to break all the expected rules to rush towards an endgame boss battle and cheat your way through.
The gameplay controls are fairly simple to pick up, with There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension falling into the ‘point and click’ genre. So you can either use the on-screen cursor to interact with objects, or you can use the touch screen on the Switch if you want to be a bit more hands-on. I played the Switch version for this review, and I found myself swapping between the cursor and my finger depending on the needs of each puzzle.
The game goes to great lengths to try and amuse you, too, with some fab script work from writer and director Pascal Cammisotto. A few jokes maybe get repeated beyond the point of still being funny, but overall the humour adds to the experience in a positive way. There were also a couple of puzzles that went beyond my personal threshold for enjoying a challenge, and verged into being a tad frustrating, but the game does have a built-in hint system to help you out in moments like that.
Where to buy There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension
As you progress through There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension, you begin to unravel a central narrative with a glitch-causing, dimension-hopping villain at its core. But, to be honest, the story isn’t the main attraction here. The ingenuity of the gameplay, the regular shifts in graphical style, and the playful subversion of how we’re using to playing; those are the really impressive things that will stick with you long after completion. The voice acting is strong across the board, too, as is the music.
Players with a working knowledge of gaming industry history may well enjoy some of the not-so-subtle jabs on display here, too, as There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension pokes fun at pay-to-win games and evil micro-transactions. So as well as deconstructing the way we normally play games, this experience is also questioning the wider industry itself – pretty impressive for a little indie game!
Most players should be able to complete There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension in around five hours, and I’d wager that you really won’t regret it if you give it a go. It’s a playful, well-made exploration of what a video game can be in this day and age, so check it out if you haven’t already.
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