It seems that the Wii’s unconventional controller and competitively underpowered specifications have made the console quite attractive to smaller PC developers looking to break into the console space. Cave Story jumped from freeware to WiiWare with a fresh coat of paint and new modes and jams, Pearl Harbor benefitted from new controls and Toribash continued its streak of intimidating anyone in eyesight.
Austrian house Broken Rules has now joined the fray with the definitive version of And Yet It Moves, an equally relaxing and befuddling puzzle-platformer with a unique ripped paper visual style that is surely unlike anything you’ve ever played. Unless you’ve already played it on PC, of course.
Your goal is as basic as it could get: all you’re tasked with is getting to the end of the stage. There are no real enemies to bop, no weapons to pow or arbitrary limitations to stress — it’s just you and a bunch of obstacles and puzzles. The twist is in the rotation: you’re given full control over the orientation of the game world and need to figure out how best to navigate a universe with no clear ups or downs.
It’s this simple morph that really turns platforming conventions on their heads, refreshingly requiring a sense of spatial awareness to successfully get through. If you don’t have that skill immediately then it will grow on you, and the encouraging checkpoint system and lack of time- or life-limit mean that failure will only set you back to the beginning of the section where you just bit it, a typical loss of 10 to 15 seconds. The stages are laid out in a way that makes new surprises always seem right around the corner, even up to the end, where the rule of thumb seems to be insanity.
The visual style and accompanying vocal soundtrack and effects help And Yet It Moves further stand out from the crowd, and they're put to great use in creating a world that feels as if it’s playing out on an expansive table on some rainy afternoon. The ripped, crumpled paper look isn’t always the most attractive, particularly in the early cave sections, but it does come into its own by the second act and then goes positively bonkers in the final stages. It’s impressive and generally runs smoothly, but we did notice that the second act was riddled with odd framerate hiccups that would inexplicably stutter the action and drop certain sound effects. These quirks ironed themselves out later and you might not experience them for yourself, but in case you do, prepare for a rough middle game.
Twisting the world on PC was limited to 90-degree rotations, but on Wii the new motion control options allow you to make even the slightest adjustments. As a result, the stages are somewhat easier to navigate than before and overall, it feels like how the game was intended to play all along. There are four variants total: one for the Remote held sideways, two with the Nunchuck and one for the Classic Controller. They all work well, but the sideways Remote is the best bet as we feel it incorporates the rotating mechanic in the most natural way by holding the 1 button and twisting.
The 16 Journey stages are over and done within a couple of hours, but in addition to improved controls, this WiiWare edition includes a number of additions to extend its life and entice those who have either held off on the PC version or have already run through the game. Four devious new stages greet you after the credits turn that will really put your skills to the test. Extra modes like the calculating Limited Rotations and life-limiting Survival pop up over the course of the game, and unlocking certain achievements (of which there are an extra 12, now totaling 28) enables modifications like game speed adjustment and a “retro” 90-degree turn limitation sure to please And Yet It Moves purists. Sadly, online leaderboards and ghost sharing have been removed in the jump to WiiWare, but you can still conquer ghosts from your three profiles and square off on the local leaderboards in Time Trial.
Broken Rules certainly lives up to its name with And Yet It Moves, and the result is an addictive and memorable puzzle-platformer sure to please anyone with an affinity for either genre. Despite losing its online capabilities, the wealth of additions and improved control options make this WiiWare release stand as the definitive version of the game and one of the better titles to hit the service. If you haven’t done so before, get it. If you have, consider double-dipping.
Wow, this looks great. Nice review.
Jon, this is one of the best reviews I've read on here so far! Great jorb.
I'll pick this up, sounds fun. Nice job Jon.
awesome, awesome review. extremely well written, Jon. thumbs up, and fantastic news on one of my most anticipated WiiWare releases!
Definitely agree with the score. Just finished Journey mode, and am playing through limited rotation mode. But I'm surprised you didn't mention the game's oddball nature, and its' wacky sense of humour. It's like, Earthbound weird, or Mother 3 on Tanetane Island weird.
Great review Jon. I totally want this.
Those were my thoughts exactly. Well, up until we get to "jorb." Really I have to say that I want to see more reviews written like this around here...
I don't get it. What are you doing in this game? Just jumping from platform to platform while rotating the play area? Or what? What else is there in the game?
@moosa: 'jorb' could be a Strong Bad joke, if you'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt :3
That's it, I'm going to get this when it comes out tonight.
@ Omega, do you want more? The whole rotating thing sounds great. And there are games where there is less to do. A Mario game for example.
In Mario games there are countless enemies with different behaviour, the possibility to throw enemies at other enemies, jumping on enemies to get over gaps, moving platforms, powerups like mushrooms and fireflowers, coins to collect, flying blocks, hidden secrets which alter the stages, tubes with secret rooms or shortcuts in them, trampolines, slides and many, many more elements.
And in this game it is just jumping from platform to platform? And rotating the screen? I mean, is that really all? Are there none of the typical Mario platforming elements in this game?
I love the quirkiness of this game, yet after the second chapter I just started feeling bored. There are a couple puzzles that really put the rotation mechanics to good use, but overall they felt underutilized. Don't know if I'll ever go back to it.
@Starcross: I'm a HUGE Earthbound fan, how is this weird like it? Does it have a story? I thought it didn't..
@Omega, like the review said it's a puzzle-platformer. So rotation is going to play a big role in solving puzzles and overcome obstacles to reach the end of the level.
@axelay80: Act 3 gets...interesting. Definitely stick with it!
@Omega: Pretty much, although it's more interesting than I think you're assuming. Try the demo (PC/Mac/Linux) and see if it's your cup of tea, but keep in mind that on Wii you have full 360-degree rotation.
Whoah, I gotta get this sometime!
This is indeed a fantastic game. The only problem I had was that it was short. Still, there are achievements to unlock!
Great review Jon. This really does look like a quality game that I would like to play. Roll on Friday for the EU launch!
This games deserved its rating. It sure looks like a fun Wiiware game!
This is a great game. I really encourage everyone to play it.
@Panda: Thanks for posting the link to the demo. Unfortunately my old trusty PC doesn't meet the steep system requirements of the game. (Dual Core 1.6 Ghz or higher, Single Core 2.0 Ghz or higher, 512 MB RAM for XP, 1024 MB RAM for Vista, non-integrated video card with 128 MB Video-RAM. Whew!)
After checking the game on YouTube, I'm still unsure about it. I would like to see a WiiWare demo for it. But it seems that Nintendo is going to say bye-bye to WiiWare demos. What a shame!
Definitely gonna get this one...when I get a Wii, that is. Fantastic review, very detailed.
At first I was unsure of this but after watching a video I think I'll get it. @LuwiiGi Welcome to nl.
Thanks, mariofanatic128. Wow, everyone here is so nice.
Added to my list and considered in my future budget.
@Popyman No, the game doesn't have a story, but all the things that you have to do, the things you see, and the sound effects just remind me of the weirdness of Earthbound.
Though I did make my own story for it. The guy wakes up in a strange world, and just wants to get back home. Simple, but it works.
And I should point out that the game feels more like an Adventure/Platformer since you can turn it however you want. But once you get the 90 degree retro mode, it feels more like a Puzzle/Platformer, since that's how the game was designed.
@Panda It's so weird that the ad for this version of the game seems to suggest that you can only turn 90 degrees at a time!
@theblackdragon Actually, it's a Coach Z joke.
It launches tomorrow for EU, I've already got me WiiPoints ready.
I love double-dipping.
Good read, good review, insta-download, thank you.
How many blocks does it take up, and how many hours long is it?
@Kingbuilder: I don't recall exactly how many blocks, but it's in the 230 region. Hours, well, depends on what you want to do. If you just want to play through the Journey and ignore the new challenge modes then two or three hours, more if you get into the side stuff.
Wow. Really not expecting this.
Never heard of this.Thanks for the great review.Will be downloading this soon.
I totally agree with the review.
I saw several slow-downs and weird graphical bugs in Chapter 2.
I beat the Journey in 2-3 hours, and now I'm beating the bonus levels and trying to unlock the achievements.
And now we add one more game to the list. I'm thinking I'll have to take a sick week from work to catch up with all my games so I can start buying new Wiiware, DSiware and PSN releases.
Fun game. Innovative, which is good. Tends to get tedious for me. IMO, 9/10 is a bit high.
So glad this is one of the NA demo (re)launch games.
Great review Jon. I actually just picked the game up on Steam as I read this review here on Nlife and have wanted the game ever since. Such a fantastic game and so unique.
Looks just amazing!!!
I remember downloading the demo for this on my Wii. it was so fun and unique, I want it for the 3DS.
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