Nintendo's WiiWare platform never ceases to amaze. While the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade are generally filled with titles that push the boundaries of gameplay and graphics, WiiWare seems to be a much better breeding ground for more innovative games. Perhaps it's because the emphasis is less about production value, but it means that games like And Yet It Moves exist.
Initially And Yet It Moves seems like a very simple game. You control a artistically drawn guy, who looks remarkably like Fido Dido of 7UP fame, and are tasked with getting from A to B. That's pretty much all the story you're going to get. There is, as expected, a slight twist though in that players are able to rotate the world, completely. It starts off being a little bit awkward, especially when you realise your wrist probably isn't meant to bend that way, but the game gradually eases you into its complex nature, so it's not too bad.
It adds a whole new dimension to the standard model, and while the main character doesn't actually control that well, it's a negligible point, because you'll spend more time manipulating his movements through gravity than the analog stick. This is perhaps emphasised by the fact that the player can walk and jump.
The first few levels revolved around basic manipulations and introduced the mechanic, but things didn't take long to get much more involved. It's a testament to the developers that they managed to employ the environment in such a way that it challenges a player's mind more than their skill with a controller. Especially when you consider that levels have been designed so that the player can go from the start to the finish without ever setting foot on the ground.
While getting the main character from A to B is always the objective, the player can also control other elements of the environment. This could be, trying to alter the direction of a spreading fire, or changing the rotation of the screen to stop a boulder falling on the main character's head. At one point, they have to try and transport a banana to a monkey without hitting too many edges.To take things even further, sometimes the player is charged with taking control of two characters at the same time, but their controls are reversed. If one walks to the left, the other will walk to the right at the same time. It's a bit mind boggling initially, but it just emphasises how impressive the creative mind of the developer really is. Just when you think the game can't throw anything more at you, it does.
And this is perhaps what's the biggest disappointment about And Yet It Moves - its length. The game's "main" campaign can be completed in around 2 hours, although technically the credits themselves extend the campaign, so it's then closer to 3 hours. There are quite a few different play modes though, for those who enjoy a challenge. These ranged from the typical Journey, to Speed Run, Time Trial, Limited Rotations and Survival. Achievements are also available and if certain ones are unlocked, this also opens up game modifications, such as altering the turning speed or having a fixed camera.
Graphically, And Yet It Moves is very simple. Most of the elements are very rough and have that "indie" feel to them. It's certainly not photo realistic or anything like that. There's also a very small emphasis on audio in general as the music is minimal to non-existant and the sound effects are very sparse.
And Yet It Moves is a great take on the platforming genre and it also crosses into the realm of puzzle, purely because of how the developers chose to challenge gamers. The main focus is to solve puzzles through rotation and manipulation of the world and it's a focus that works well. The rest of the game doesn't appear as though it was given much focus though as the production values and length are a bit on the short side. There is replay value there though in the form of a ton of modes and in-game achievements. For those wanting a quick fix in the puzzle/platforming genre, it's worth checking out.