Finding meaning in a relentless platformer isn't as easy as it looks.
Sometimes the concept of a game is so simple that it is actually brilliant. That is how I felt about sU and the Quest for Meaning, a stage based endless platformer. It can't really described as a runner because of your free movement across the stage. Still, it can't be called a regular platformer either as you are confined to a singular screen.
Your goal in the stages is to collect a certain threshold of diamonds. These are spread across platforms that rise up and instantly crash down when you jump away from them. In the beginning this is fairly simple as you jump from one point to the next. It doesn't take long for things to quickly feel relentless. The platforms will disappear faster, tricking you into making jumps and never feeling entirely sure if you hit the correct amount.
The stage's score is the true puzzle. You will need to keep a sharp eye on the environment and character before deciding to call it a day. It is easy to miss or overshoot a goal without really thinking about it making it important to keep your eyes on the diamonds, and put everything into perspective. Not everyone will instantly understand this, but it is so rewarding to nail everything to a tee.
While running and jumping is really the only things you do in sU, the presentation is what keeps you glued to the screen. The environments have a very lush look to it with calming music to boot. It put me in a zen like state as I pushed for completion to the highest degree. After a while I went through the motions without second guessing, which is where the game truly came into its own.
I walked away happy from sU and the Quest for Meaning. The idea behind is simple but it works so incredibly well. You will find yourself constantly checking the environment for clues to completion, all the while you just want to keep collecting diamonds. The stage based structure forces you to move on at some point, starting the whole cycle anew. sU is showing a lot of promise and I hope to see more in the months to come.