Twists, turns, twirls, and loops. Welcome to the first person puzzle madness that is, Standpoint. One big maze that pushed my patience, and ability to adapt to the constant brain throbbing situations laid before me. A unique gravity altering mechanic made this platformer feel fresh at first, but quickly started to feel stale.
Developed by Untruly Attractions, Standpoint leads the player through the 5 stages of Grief. You start with Loss, advance to Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and ultimately progress to Acceptance. The game opens you to a puzzle ridden fortress made up of many corridors. As an eerie voice haunts the background noise, you begin to feel they are a part of your dilemma at hand. Through many challenging maze-like scenarios, Standpoint shows potential, but feels like it’s caught in its own game.
I found myself enthralled with Standpoint at the start of the game. The music. The environment. The questions that the mysterious setting put before me. I wanted to be there in this strange place, and more importantly, I wanted to know why I was there. After a few stages though, I begin to slowly lose that interest. The repetitive nature of the puzzles and challenges being placed before me, left me feeling stagnant and un-intrigued.
Maneuvering throughout Standpoint is never a chore. The controls adhere to the player well, and are never too button-jamming. The ability to change gravity at will is done through the right trigger. It can be when timing a gravity change while simultaneously avoiding an obstacle, but always feels spot on. Also there are many pressure pads in the game that require a box to be laid upon it, at which time a door would open, allowing you to move on through the corridor. The controls for moving the boxes to these pads can be wonky at times, and would have benefitted from some refinement.
I wish there was something interesting to discuss in the graphics department. Standpoint’s visuals start simple and stay there. Not that there bad, but there’s nothing here that I can say is especially pleasing either. The textures and details are almost like super crisp PS2 era graphics, and the lighting is dull and flat. The corridors and most of the complex are given a modern, futuristic white and gray aesthetic. The only real colors you see added to the palette from here are the fluorescent lit obstacles that you have to avoid while platforming. It would have been refreshing to see a more vibrant visual approach applied.
One area in which I found Standpoint excelled was the audio. I truly loved the score playing behind each level. While there wasn’t much variety, I didn’t seem to mind at all. A great contribution here is the voice work as well. I loved the dialogue that followed you as you moved through the game. It was unique and brought me into my surroundings more. It was the first time in a long time that I enjoyed the sound design before anything else in a game.
Standpoint may not be scoring any home-runs in the indie ballgame, but it could be a hit to some. A unique gravity mechanic helps keep it from falling under the overcrowded generic platformer category. Solid sound design and an original story may be enough for a fan of the indie puzzle genre to try this brain-teaser out.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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