An original puzzle platformer hits the eShop. Is it worth it?
Pyramids has the pleasure of being the first truly original game on the eShop (Let’s Golf was a port, and the rest are Virtual Console or 3D remakes). While it doesn’t do much to leverage the 3D effects of the system, Enjoy Gaming’s 3DS debut is an addictive and challenging puzzle platformer in the same vein as Solomon’s Key.
Consisting of six worlds with nine single-screen levels each (and a bonus world unlocked by QR codes), Pyramids tasks you with collecting treasure while trying to exit each stage. You maneuver by jumping, creating/destroying blocks, and, when you pick ammo up, shooting at enemies. Obstacles continually get introduced, and by the second and third world, you’ll be dodging boulders, spikes, snakes, fire, and more.
The game’s difficulty ramps up quickly, but it does have a degree of choose-your-own difficulty. Three stars are obtainable in each level: one for getting to the goal, one for collecting all the treasure, and the final one for collecting all the treasure in a time limit. You can burn through the game quickly by just getting one star each level, but if you want to complete every level, you need to collect all the stars. In order to unlock the final world, you need to collect every star beforehand. Similarly, you need to collect stars to unlock other worlds, though the requirements aren’t as stringent as the final world.
The puzzles are clever throughout, and you really need to be able to analyze the environment correctly to figure out how to solve each level. This game succeeds by giving you a well-defined set of rules and abilities, and letting you use those abilities in creative ways. If you set out to collect every star, it can get frustrating, but not because the game is unfair.
The 3D effects are cheesy, as they amount to your character flying at or away from you when he dies. It does add a neat level of depth, but not enough to make leaving the slider on worthwhile. That being said, the game does not suffer at all for not having great 3D. It doesn’t need it.
Pyramids does a great job of nailing that “I can totally do it this time!” feeling that games such as Super Meat Boy and Bit.Trip Runner excelled at. It’s not quite up to the same lofty heights as those games, but it is a worthwhile addition to your 3DS library, especially since it’s an excellent game to plunk five minutes into when you have downtime.