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This is the story of how a small Cube-shaped rock and a little fallen round-shaped star become friends as the Cube helps the Star back into the night skies.

Along the journey there are lots of puzzles to solve as the two friends bounce, run and leap their way through level after level of odd terrain areas, growing crystals and flowers as they travel.

This is a beautiful and frustrating, pleasant game that brightens up the PS4 driven screen with all manner of colours and shapes.

Take a look HERE at the short video

The Star and the Cube can ride on each other's heads, jumping and bouncing so that you can quickly swap (Triangle) control from one to the other and leap upwards to the next level. 

There are buttons to push, secret passages to discover and slide through, but you need to be controlling the correct character for each - the Star isn't too keen on the secret 'dark' tunnels for instance and Cubes aren't too good at jumping without help. Camera angles are generally good but there are times when the player wants to be able to control the camera like in many games and cannot; the game allows you to see what it wants you to see. Once you realise that this is the case and you are not going to get a better angle or view then you will understand that the game is telling you that all you need to solve the puzzles is right there in front of you; all you have to do is discover it.

This is definitely a game that grabs you and weaves its way into your thoughts, it is pleasantly addictive. The scenery is effective without being overly detailed; it is wondrous to see how its darkness turns into a thing of beauty when the characters conduct their magic.

I failed to save any images from the PS4 to the PC (basically because I don't know how to do so) thus images on this screen have been found and 'borrowed' from the internet. I can say that these screenshots from the 'net are the same as I have played (to date) on my PS4.

PODE is a charming cooperative game where you can play solo and cooperate with yourself - how unusual is that. Both 'friends' are required to keep the game on track and it is rather cute to see them holding hands each time they solve a puzzle and head off to the next one.

 This screenie is one of the early puzzles, and it was the first time I discovered that the Cube and the Star could 'grow' Crystals and Plants.

It took me a fair while to get both characters onto the shelf (where you can see the blue cubed Rock) but on having done so, many of the solutions to future-puzzles-to-come became evident. I know that sounds a bit cockeyed but what I mean is that by trying to solve one problem I learnt ways to solve others and could use the information gained later on in the game; by this time I hadn't viewed the video on the game so it was all still new and exciting for me (to be fair, it still is).

There are many oddball, abstract games available for the PC and the PS4 and this is one of the most oddballiest abstracted of the lot, but the main thing is, it is an extremely beautiful, pleasant game that is a whole lot of entertaining fun. :

So that's my take on PODE; here is what it says on the website:

Pode is a co-op puzzle exploration game about a rock and a fallen star working together to solve ancient puzzles in a stunning environment inspired by Norwegian art and culture.
Travelling through the insides of a mysterious and magical mountain, Bulder and Glo breathe life into an ancient sleeping world and explore the ruins of a long lost civilization with their unique talents and abilities. Only by helping each other can these unlikely adventure companions solve the ancient puzzles that open the secret passageways up the caves of Mount Fjellheim. 

The soundtrack is by the legendary Austin Wintory! 

Key Features:

Exploration. Discover a beautiful and ancient cave system and uncover its secrets to reach your goal. 

Puzzles. Solve puzzles, riddles and mysteries. Combine the two character's special abilities to overcome obstacles. 

Co-op or single player. Share the experience with a friend, or enjoy playing it by yourself. 

Unique art style. Enjoy a world inspired by Norwegian art and nature.

1-2 players
3GB minimum save size

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015