FILMECHANISM Nintendo Switch Review

Click your way to victory…

By LG18, Posted 13 Jan 2022

Many of us are in the rather privileged situation of having an extensive library of sprawling open-world games to play — games we can spend hours upon hours exploring as we relish in complex lore, branching quests, and deep, overarching stories. 

But the appeal of the simpler game has only broadened as AAA experiences get ever more complex; as exciting as it is to jump into Fallout New Vegas once more, so is it a time-consuming endeavor. In our adult lives, we’ve often only got mere minutes of time to spend indulging in a game, and that’s where titles like FILMECHANISM come in.


FILMECHANISM, Switch, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Chemical Pudding, Phoenixx, Puzzle, Indie, Game, Zone 3 


Epitomising the simplicity — as well as the pastel allure of 8-bit Gameboy Colour games — FILMECHANISM is a classic puzzle platformer. You’ll play as REC. It’s unclear exactly what our protagonist is, but think Plankton from Spongebob except less evil and with an affinity for photography.

It’s your job to guide REC through two hundred stages across six distinct worlds, your goal being to simply reach the red flag. The crux relies upon REC’s ability to take a reversible snapshot of the level and its alterable objects at any given time. You'll then change some aspect to further your task of reaching the goal (be it pushing buttons, moving blocks, jumping up to a preferred vantage point, or a whole host of other actions), and then use your snapshot ability again to revert back to how the level was when you took the picture: with the original layout now having crucial utility. It’s a refreshingly original concept, and something with a surprising amount of depth despite its simplicity. 

In the same way, all good puzzle games do, each world presents with a new quirk, necessitating a further level of skill to master each scenario. Levels will require you to use the aforementioned mechanics to fetch keys and unlock doors, make platforms for yourself to reach high ledges, and will even have you play with gravity to reach the goal; the game manages to build upon its ideas with perfect pacing, and each level strikes the balance between being difficult enough to entice the player but without fostering frustration.


FILMECHANISM, Switch, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Chemical Pudding, Phoenixx, Puzzle, Indie, Game, Zone 1


If you want a further challenge (and to have officially completed each world), the game splits each zone into normal, hard, and hell difficulty modes, and it’s in these harder levels where the mechanics truly come into their own. These levels are significantly harder but are accordingly the most rewarding. They most notably add complexity by increasing the number of snapshots required per level. 

Whether or not you’re able to use REC’s snapshot feature is dependant upon collecting film canisters: these permit one snapshot per use, and there may be several in each stage. In order to solve a puzzle, it’s often the case you’ll need to think several steps ahead — something the game accounts for intuitively by mapping level reset to the press of a button. This encourages experimentation and trial and error, with each error causing an irreversible change that necessitates a reset. 

This might sound as though it could get irritating, but where many puzzle games attempt to mitigate frustration by designing levels that are unbreakable, FILMECHANISM doesn’t overcomplicate. Each level requires a specific sequence of linear actions to beat, and the game cleverly frees itself from the conversion of salvageability by enabling the player to quickly reset rather than having to backtrack their actions. As a result, the puzzles never seem tedious. They don’t put you in a position where you’ve made so many mistakes that you forgot where your original plan to victory lay.


FILMECHANISM, Switch, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Chemical Pudding, Phoenixx, Puzzle, Indie, Game, Zone 2 3


And it’s this sentiment that permeates the game as a whole — crisp efficiency that puts the thrill of mental challenge at the center of the experience without any fluff. From the minimalist art design to the mellow chip-tune music, FILMECHANISM is a game with a strong conviction in its own style and ideas. It’s a great little puzzle game, and something I’d urge any Switch owner to check out.
 

Linden Garcia, 
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

FILMECHANISM

90/100

Platform(s): Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Phoenixx Inc.
Developer(s): Chemical Pudding
Genres: Puzzle
Themes: Platformer, Indie
Release Date: 2021-12-15

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