Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix and Her Nightmare - PC

Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare isn't a chapter in Professor Layton's forthcoming game, The Last Specter - it is in fact a fiendishly addictive puzzler from the team at Bad Pilcrow.

The flimsy tale involves little Vanessa - who is mercilessly bullied by her schoolmates - finding a strangely carved box in her father's antique shop. When the box is accidentally cracked open, it promptly sucks up Vanessa, the bullies and her whole town, leaving the little girl with the task of rescuing everyone trapped inside the creepy box.

It's not deep, meaningful or really that important - as the story is simply a framework on which to hang the game's ingenious take on puzzle solving.

The aim is to get Vanessa to the exit on every level but because the game takes place on the sides of a cube, interesting gravity-shifting conundrums come thick and fast.

While Vanessa can move left, right and jump, the player can give her a helping hand by rotating the cube in 90 degree increments. This causes Vanessa to fall through gaps and reach different sides of the box.

Because Vanessa sticks to the original surface for a second before falling, the player is given a brief sliver of time to make adjustments.

Added complexity comes when required to flip the screen to place red blocks in set areas. It's fine at first when shifting a single block on one side of the cube, but later puzzles require the player to move multiple blocks between sides, which requires a fair amount of mental gymnastics and a wee bit of patience.

Add to that the threat of marauding spiders and deadly spikes and even the process of moving one block to the other side of the room - while keeping Vanessa safe - is enough to melt your brain.

With dozens of levels to work through, plenty of incentive to revisit areas to improve times and turns taken and full Xbox 360 controller support, Vanessa Saint-Pierre Delacroix & Her Nightmare is a neat little package.

It costs £5.39 and it should last you a few hours. There's also a generous demo available if you want to try before you buy. To grab a copy of Vanessa's adventure and see videos of the game in action, head over to the Bad Pilcrow website.

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