Jun 29, 2012

Video Game Review: Gateways

Looking for a cheap puzzle game for your PC? Are you a fan of the Portal series? For just $10 you can own Gateways!

I'm not sure why more games don't exist that take place in one giant map with no loading screens. This allows you to travel to any spot in the area at anytime as long as you figured out how to get to each room. Some great examples of this format is VVVVVV, and 1000 Amps. Now Smudged Cat Games is giving it a shot with a Gateways.

Gateways is about a scientist that finds his lab all messed up, and all his portal-creating firearms known as "gateway guns" taken away. He comes across one of them and figures that the rest of them must be around his lab. Since someone messed with his lab, every room he enters is a puzzle for you to figure out.

I love these types of games, and Gateways doesn't disappoint. Gateways doesn't ever get stale thanks to the variety of different gateway guns you collect during the game. A gateway gun allows you to create two portals. When you go through one - you come out the other. "HEY THATS JUST LIKE PORTAL!" you might say, but Gateways does things differently by adding different gateway guns. There's the normal one that just lets you come out the other portal, but also one that allows you to come out smaller, or bigger. There's also one that allows you to create a clone of yourself to help with pressing multiple buttons. Lastly, there's a gateway gun that allows you to flip the map around Inception-style so you can stand on the walls, and ceiling.

Just a glimpse of the map

The puzzles were fantastic, and by the end got very difficult. Luckily, if you're not a puzzle genius there are orbs you can find laying around in the giant map. Each puzzle (except for the last one) has a help-station. You can spend some orbs to see if the puzzle is even possible to figure out. If it's not possible to figure out, it's because you haven't found an upgrade that allows you to finish the puzzle. If the help-station does say you can solve it, and you can't figure it out, you can buy the solution by spending some more orbs. So there's the puzzle itself, and then the puzzle of figuring out if it's even solvable. If you don't want to waste orbs, just skip it, come back to the puzzle later and solve a different one.

Uh oh, it's complaining time! I do wish there was teleportation in this game. There are times you'll be on one side of the map and you'll have to travel to the other side. Once you start unlocking more and more puzzles the game becomes quite big. Traveling across the map was the only time I got bored. If there were teleporters set up, or even let me do it at each save point, the overall experience would have been much better.

On your adventure, you might come across upgrades for your health bar, and the ability to jump higher. You don't need them but the upgrades will come in handy because there are enemies flying around and lots of spikes!

Final Say: I don't have an exact time, but I believe it took me five hours to beat gateways. It's a fantastic game, and I will now put it up with the greats like VVVVVV, and 1000 Amps. It's $10, and a lot of fun for anyone that loves platform games with puzzles. I can't recommend this enough. I just wish there were teleports throughout the map.

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