The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE — ‘Clouds of Fire: Blazing Skies’, ‘reYal’, and ‘Collared’

Welcome to a new page, we puzzles

Clouds of Fire: Blazing Skies, unfortunately, has been removed from the bundle due to some issues that developer AaronMakesGames could not solve. They said that it might return if fixed, but this was nearly a year ago. As of writing this the game has not returned. Bit of a bummer, but what can you do?

Brain hurting.

reYal is a strange meta-puzzle game created by xrrawva, a mysterious dev that creates small, surreal titles. Players will control a small character within a green and black terminal world, able to interact with buttons on the wall. Suddenly, however, another room, with another character is added, who is controlled by the character before. And so we add layers, characters controlling characters.

Players will use simple controls to move the character in the bottom screen around the room, interacting with the five buttons on the wall. Once the second room opens, the purpose of the buttons becomes instantly clear: players just move the other character with them. The non-directional button is the ‘interact’ button, allowing for the other characters to interact with the buttons. This means that to have the wheelchair person move and hit a button, the player needs to move them, aim them upwards, and then hit the interact button. What happens next… is the reveal of a third character.

This is the puzzle, the constantly scaling game as it keeps adding characters that add to the difficulty. Players will need to move their own character to move another character in the hopes of moving another, and it keeps scaling until the screen is full of all five of them. Ensuring that the mind does not get twisted up in the layers is a challenge unto itself, and this is not even the entire game. Once the player reaches the full capacity, the game flips on its head and a new challenge begins.

It’s short in perceived gameplay, but its scaling requires quite more time than expected. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you love strange meta puzzles, this might be exactly what you want.

Somebody is going to be PISSED when they get home.

Collared is a puzzle platforming game created by estragonhelmer, a solo indie developer based out of England. Players will follow the life and times of a canine thief, shackled with a collar that gives her the ability to manipulate reality. Hopefully this will help her get to each destination, or she might get stuck spinning in circles.

Each of the 45 levels revolve around the protagonist being able to reach the beige checkered room, found inside of a building. The beige rooms are able to be entered and moved through, whereas the others are walls that block her path. By pressing ‘Space’, however, she enters a trance-like state that brings up a radial with the mouse, and lets the player rotate a block that is part of the buildings. This block cannot be ‘missing’ any parts, as in it must be a quadrant of rooms and walls with no holes to see the backdrop. Players will know if the section is not rotatable when the radial greys out. Mousing over everything before beginning the puzzle is encouraged.

This is where the puzzling becomes ‘loopy’ as it were. Players will continually rotate parts of the room in the hopes of getting clear pathways to the destination. The protagonist can be moved in to the building before the pathway is complete, but that causes the block she sits in to be unable to move. Other rooms are marked as reinforced by some mythical energy, for they are ‘X’ed’ out and cannot be rotated at all. Other mechanics such as electrical pathways are slowly introduced to add even more issues to the rotations.

If you ever get stuck in Collared, you don’t have to worry. Just like the game itself, the levels are ‘blocked’ in to sections, allowing for you to jump to different levels with ease. If you are familiar with puzzle games you might be able to breeze through this relatively quickly. For the rest of us it’ll be a satisfying afternoon of rotating buildings in a calm town.

Well, it’s calm for now until the people show up and see what you’ve done to the place, but that’s not important. If you love rotating puzzles, give this a whirl.

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Jacob Vorstenbosch

Jacob Vorstenbosch

Just a Game Dev who decided to take on the monumental task of giving an overview of all 59 pages in the bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. We keep going.