I always find it hard to review a puzzle game. It’s not that the game itself is difficult to describe but more that it is difficult to explain and make a big post about the game which content focuses on a single major mechanic used in different ways to test your mind.
In Nebulous, that mechanic is Gravity and Physics. Confined in a cube-like maze, players are tasked with the important role of getting their jackass of a pilot into a wormhole without flinging him against the wall, lasers, or other environmental hazards.
The game gives you several tools to play with, including normal blocks that come in various shapes and sizes for your astronaut to bounce off of as a stopper or shield from walls and lasers, or the Jump pad, which launches him through the air at incredible height and speed, or the conveyor belt which can help move him to other locations. Later in game, players will have to deal with mentioned lasers, multiple wormholes that teleport to other sides of the cube, alternate gravity flow and more deathtraps.
The progression of the puzzles is sharp, almost infuriating at times which may force players to focus on a more trial and error type of gameplay, which the game doesn’t reward. The game attempts to reward players for collecting stars, placing the pieces in a time limit and getting it right on the first try, something that you’d only be able to do if you played the map repeatedly until you knew the layout like the back of your hand.
There is some fun in failing though, as the aforementioned jackass pilot’s journey through pain and misery through countless trial and error attempts at getting him out of the situation results in some great banter that is almost on a Wesley from Portal 2 level. From the grunts and pain noises from him bashing against objects (and a “ouch my groin” moment that was a lot of fun) to outwardly making fun of you for failing what he calls a simple puzzle.
Despite it’s flaws, Nebulous is a fun puzzle game, but is clearly focused with VR in mind. PC players with a VR set can dive into the game and the puzzle game as it is, while PS4 can still enjoy the game, but will have to wait till the PSVR tools become available to fully immerse themselves into it.
Nebulous is out now and if our review didn’t convince you, head over to the Playstation Network and test out the game’s free demo yourself!