Perspective and scale are two considerations that are emerging more and more into puzzle games. Perhaps there’s better example than the two games that take those names: Perspective and Scale. With the weekend of Ludum Dare 25 now coming to a close, we find that there’s another rather brilliant example of these concepts in Ratking Entertainment’s entry, Tale of Scale.
Even if this wasn’t made in 48 hours, Tale of Scale would still be an impressive little title. The fact that it was made within those time constraints just makes it all the more delicious. So what’s it all about? The theme of this Ludum Dare was “You Are The Villain”, with optional Goat theme as a bonus – while there’s no goats here, the main theme is realized by having you play as a little brat. In the game’s first level you are tasked with piling up furniture next to the fridge so that you can reach the cookie jar placed on top. Grab the TV, sink, cupboards, tables and chairs. Lugging heavy furniture around may not sound like the kind of activity a toddler would be able to pull off, but that’s where you’re very wrong. As said, this game is all about perspective and scale.
Before I reveal how the game works, make sure you go and check it out for yourself!
So when you pick up an item it actually changes size according to your perspective. If you pick up a sofa and then move really close to a wall and then drop it, the sofa would have shrunk. Similarly if you grabbed the sofa and then dropped it somewhere in the distance then it would be huge. It takes a while to figure out (or it did for me) exactly how this mechanic works. When you’ve got it, though, you’ll easily fly through the first level. Hopefully, anyway – when I gave it a go, I got confused as hell as I tried to place all of the furniture in one pile next to the fridge to find that it all kept shrinking. Oh, how naive I was. This game outwitted me from the very start.
In fact, I still didn’t even understand the mechanic fully until I completed the second level. In this one you’re tasked with clearing your room. There’s some Lego on the floor, but why stop there? I won’t reveal how to do this one because it’s more fun to do yourself. Then it was onto the third level, which I thought was really awful…at first. In this you’ve been thrown into a big hole that’s been sealed over with wooden boards, which made me question who the real villain was in this game. Anyway, turned out that I was being really stupid by setting up what I thought was the solution to the puzzle in a way that required really precise platforming. Then my brain gave me a kick and told me I was being a right idiot. Then I felt smart and quickly progressed.
tl;dr – Tale of Scale is really clever puzzle game and I’m really dumb. Go and play it for free here, it’s pretty fantastic.