Good puzzle games encourage you to grow as you play. They can provide different difficulty levels. However, they don’t get in the way of enjoying it. The lower levels prepare you for the higher ones. Filmechanism is one that handles its challenges well. With the way Chemical Pudding offers and orchestrates things, it really encourages the sense of progression.
The concept of Filmechanism is fairly simple. Something I find can help make a puzzle game fun, because it means anyone can pick it up. You follow a robot who can record the current state of the world. When the robot, dubbed Rec, collected a battery to power the ability that is. After recording, which you can do multiple times when enough batteries are collected, you can restore the world to an existing state. However, when you do, you will still possess things like the batteries or keys you collected. Your goal is to use your powers of observation and this skill to reach the exit in each stage.
Now yes, Filmechanism includes some platforming elements. You’ll need to guide Rec through areas. There’s a lot of jumping. Sometimes even with single-use springs! But while precision can count, the real key is observation. The trick to solving the game’s puzzles is keeping an eye out for when things will happen. None of the jumps require fancy maneuvering. Speed isn’t really an issue. There are no penalties for experimenting, then resetting. Which means a certain amount of pressure is alleviated. This makes it more welcoming to newcomers, while still offering inviting prospects to people familiar with such concepts.
Naturally, the actual difficulty options are what really make Filmechanism the sort of puzzle game anyone could excel at playing. You get three. These aren’t determined before entering the game. You don’t have to head to options to switch things up. Rather, the over 200 puzzles are scattered in worlds with multiple paths. You have a standard Normal difficulty on the bottom route, then Hard and Hell difficulties above it. All three eventually lead to the stages and path on to the next area. All early levels sort of set the stage for the mechanics you’ll see in that area. For example, you’ll be introduced to moving blocks, platforms that drop, or springs that volley you into the air. The difference comes down to how taxing they can be.
In Normal difficulties, it is fairly easy to work out when you’ll need to take a picture, even without exploring. Hard and Hell typically bring in more than one battery, meaning multiple shots. Normal will use things like switches that require a certain number of platforms as a weight in typical ways. In Hard and Hell, getting to that goal isn’t so easy. It’s a thing where it’s easiest to see in practice. Which, granted, many puzzle games of this ilk do. But it’s just that Filmechanism handles its concepts quite well. It is always teaching you these tricks, even without the player realizing it. Not to mention you have those other difficulties right near and in front of you.
It’s that accessibility that helps make Filmechanism so much fun. This is a puzzle game that could challenge you. It will make you think. It’s just handled in such a way that it can feel like there is a real sense of growth. Like the base difficulty helps prepare you for concepts and ideas in Hard and Hell. Which is what happens in the best sorts of puzzle games. It doesn’t immediately ramp up the challenge and feel like there’s no connection. There are ties there. Plus the decision to have all puzzles available, clearly labeled, at once in a world helps encourage people to branch out.
Filmechanism is available for the Nintendo Switch and PC.