In Indie Game HQ’s latest review, Nathan takes a look at Ilamentia by Anthony Case. Ilamentia is currently purchasable directly from the developer via GumRoad. If you’d like to try before you buy, Anthony offers a nine room demo here. The full version has 72 rooms, but the demo gives a broader impression of the differing room types and difficulty. If you’d like more information, or would like to purchase Ilamentia, all the needed links can be found below the review.
GAME NAME: Ilamentia
DEVELOPER(S): Anthony Case
PUBLISHER(S): Anthony Case
GENRE(S): Platformer, Puzzle
RELEASE DATE(S): May 18, 2013
We would like to thank Anthony Case for giving us the opportunity to review Ilamentia. For more, please check out his website.
The goal is simple, activate all souls and make it to the exit, but every room revolves around wildly differing mechanics. You may be tasked with manipulating physical structures, deal with waves of phasms or briskly bound through the aether. The puzzle is to deduce the limits of the room’s mechanics which evolve as you progress. Some rooms focus on brain-melting logic, others rely on sharp reactions, but many more will test the limits of every facet of your cognitive faculties.
The world of Ilamentia is a mysterious one at that. Spires rise from a seemingly endless void below and the guardians of this void, called phasms, have plans to challenge you. There are 72 rooms in total, each with a challenging puzzle to solve. These puzzles vary from interacting with the environment, fighting off waves of phasms or even being tossed around the empty wondrous void. Whatever challenge lie ahead for you, the key to solving each room is experimentation.
To traverse the levels, you need to make use of your basic skill set; WASD to move, Space to jump, and Left Click to fire orbs. Those orbs will come in handy as they can be used to activate certain objects or terrain, and even defend yourself against phasms. Don’t rely on your unlimited ammo all the time though, sometimes those guardians are ever so pesky and cannot be defeated. On not-so-rare occasions, you’ll need to think quickly and move even faster to avoid being devoured.
Don’t worry though, if you find yourself in a tight spot or fall into the void, you can always Right Click with your mouse and the level will reset.
After a few hours of playing Ilamentia, I loved the feeling of the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. The game puts you in a strange place, unaware of your surrounding and sends these strange and dangerous phasms after you. I found myself constantly checking behind me to make sure I wasn’t being followed. Ilamentia doesn’t throw the typical “jump scares” at you, instead it opens your mind to a somewhat constant state of paranoia.
As I said before, Ilamentia has a total of 72 rooms for you to rack your brain and spend hours trying to decipher. In the end, you’ll be left feeling accomplished and maybe a little paranoid, but at least you’ll have had a great experience.
Ilamentia doesn’t feature much in terms of music, aside from the track that plays upon opening the game and loops at the main menu. But let it be known, the lack of music isn’t a bad thing and the one song it does have is great. It actually reminds me of Earthworm Jim on Sega Genesis. Not sure why, but that’s the first thing that came to mind.
To make up for the lack of music, Ilamentia focuses on sound effects. The one sound that sticks with you is definitely the background noise while playing a level. The only way I can think to describe it is vast, empty and spine-tingling. It adds to the overall ambiance with what sounds like howling winds. I begin to wonder what is this world I am in, and why is it so empty?
The world of Ilamentia, as I mentioned before, has a strange but wonderful atmosphere. There are some great particle effects that add a dustiness to the void. It’s a similar effect to the game TRI, and is a welcomed addition.
If you find yourself having performance issues, you can tap F2 to switch between four different scaling options to help increase frame rate. Pressing F1 will toggle fullscreen and if you’re still having issues, F4 will turn off the “solace snow” or the aforementioned dustiness.
It was very considerate to add in those options and the simplicity of switching resolutions was a nice touch. Ilamentia is practically guaranteed to run smoothly on numerous computers.
Down to the Nitty Gritty
In the end, Ilamentia is a fantastic game. Simplicity and complexity merge together to form a wonderful experience and leave you wanting more. I honestly couldn’t find many reasons as to why Ilamentia didn’t deserve the score I gave it. From what I gathered in my time reviewing, everything is polished and well put-together. There were a few times where it was hard to read the text, but apart from that, I highly recommend this game and I look forward to seeing what else comes from Anthony Case.
Overall, Ilamentia was absolutely fantastic. Everything worked together to create a strange and wonderful mix of atmospheric beauty and a constant state of tension.
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