Use physics to bounce blocks to victory in this puzzle platformer.
The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild (or QAG for brevity) might have one of the wordier publisher names, but they’re quietly putting out clever, brilliant games. You might know some of their work across Wii U and Switch with the artistic puzzle platformer The Bridge and the outrageously novel puzzle game Tumblestone, but in the past few years, they pivoted to publishing other indie games instead of just developing their own. Back at PAX South 2020 (when we could meet people physically at events!), I sat down to talk to QAG’s Chris Lavina about their upcoming strategy. It was wonderful talking to him because he carries a similar ethos that I do with indie games, in that I just want to see cool games that do things I’ve never thought of before. QAG launched the Diablo/Peggle roguelike Roundguard earlier this year and now their next published game appears to be Deleveled, which has a demo in the Steam Games Festival.
Deleveled is a mind-bending platformer made by the small Seattle-based developer ToasterFuel where you have to control the momentum of two blocks. One block begins at the top of the level and the other at the bottom. You just move left and right, maneuvering the blocks to each reach goals on their side of the level. It’s simple, but over the course of the demo, things get complicated. You have to avoid spikes, make use of varying types of ledges to get the right amount of momentum to carry a block to the goal. Multiple goals even pop up. It’s wild.
This game is all about toying with physics to get these blocks to bend to your will across more than 120 levels. The demo gives a solid vertical slice of the insanity that might await you. The developer promises “secrets throughout” and for all I know, I missed some secret exit to more levels in the demo. My only concern with Deleveled is it might break my brain because by the end of this demo, I felt like I had to think fifth-dimensionally. However, if QAG can work with ToasterFuel to bring some of the approachability and style of The Bridge and Tumblestone to Deleveled, I expect this to be a bright spot for anyone looking for a brain-wrinkling puzzle platformer challenge on Switch.
Currently, Deleveled is set for a Summer 2020 release on Switch (as well as PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One). It’s also worth pointing out that Freshly Frosted, an internally developed game from QAG is also a part of the Steam Games Festival, but I’m only one man and there are a lot of demos. I plan to get to it soon.