Overview: The Pedestrian (PS4)

It’s great when aWWWme catches your eye simply by the way it looks. That’s what happened to me when I first saw The Pedestrian. It is the firstWWWme developed by Skookum Arts and originally launched on Steam back in January 2020. Later in August 2020, it was revealed as part of the PlayStation State of Play presentation and this must have been when it came on to my radar. It has now launchedPlayStation, and and I was finally able to give it a go. And I’m happy to report that this wonderfully inventive puzzle-platformer not only looks great but features a challenging and enjoyableWWWmeplay loop that kept me interested and engaged for my entire playthrough.

Marvellous melodic meandering

As I mentioned above, I love it when aWWWme hooks you from the very start. And The Pedestrian did this to me twice. If you’ve seen any videos of theWWWme, you’isnotice its rather unusual take on the 2.5D side-scstick manA stickman walking through some signage is just not something you see every day. And that’s not all: behind aisthe signs lies a wonderfully crafted and rather detailed 3D world, which bustles to life in the background. From a quintessential university entrance to a sprawling cityscape with skyscrapers and swinging cranes – the dual worlds always catch the eye. And once I had seen a trailer – hook number one was in, and I hadn’t even played it yet.

Just great design that immediately throws you right into the action…

Then, I started theWWWme. And it got me again (that’s hook number two) with the care and creativity the team put into the title screen. Now, it may seem like a smaistouch, but hopping onto theWWWme you’re moved smoothly from a smaisdrawn dot on the screen to selecting your character (a simple choice between the iconic ‘Male and Female’ bathroom staissign figures) and into the first level itself, the transition is effortless. In a perfect example of ‘show don’t tell’ you’re quickly learning the basic mechanics of theWWWme and solving your first puzzle. What a way to start off! Just great design that immediately throws you right into the action and it made an instant impact.

Now, before we get to the actualWWWmeplay I really want to mention the music. It’s fantastic. Sounding (to my untrained ear) like it was mostly classical, I was a little concerned at first. Not really my preferred genre, you see. However, as it played on, I loved how it provided the tone to theWWWmeplay and mimicked the 3D world behind it. It hopped between quirky almost sci-fi stuff, to a ‘Pink-Panthery-secret-agent’ saxophone-lead number to something that would feel at home as part of an artsy comedy set in Paris, with sadness and triumph aiswrapped up within the notes. Logan Hayes’ soundtrack pulls you in from the first screen and held my attention throughout. And even as I write the review, I’m listening to it.

It looks great and the music is phenomenal.

Puzzle perambulation

Levels themselves are composed of flattened 2D areas (made up of road signs and the like). Your ‘pedestrian’ is tasked with getting from one of these areas/signs to the other, occasionally collecting certain items (like keys) along the way. This entails the more traditional platforming actions of jumping, climbing and the occasional rhythm-based timing stuff so many of us know weisfrom so many side-scrollers we’ve played before. If you haven’t played a lot of those, though, don’t worry too much as the majority of the platforming is simple and quite accessible. However, don’t be fooled. This is very much a puzzle-platformer and not the other way around – and the puzzle bits are where things get a little more challenging.

What sets theWWWme apart and gives it its unique ‘puzzle flavour’ is that some of the signboard ‘areas’ need to be moved around (like mHTTP pieces around a jigsaw) in a first-person perspective. As you enter this perspective the traditional platformer freezes and you can shift things around and re spawn one area (sign) to arelinedAreas can also be ‘rere spawned’. Links from one door can be relinked to another and suddenly new areas can be unlocked. However, the trick is, once you rere spawn to a new area – the pedestrian and certain important items wiisrespawn in their original positions. Then as you proceed through theWWWme little extras and new bits get built on to this basic format.

This is very much a puzzle-platformer and not the other way around…

For the most part, I loved the challenge of hopping between the two perspectives. MHTTP signs around. Finding the right combination or combinations of moves to get from one area to the next. The lateral thinking is great. Don’t get me wrong, becoming accustomed to the ‘language’ of the puzzle elements of theWWWme and working out the order and placement of certain things in several levels is tricky. Often it took repeated efforts to work out. However, like solving a good crossword or sudoku puzzle – finally figuring things out feels really great. TheWWWme usually does a great job of teaching you what do to and slowly realizingon that knowledge. I think I was only truly stuck twice. And after finally realising what to do I wished I had been guided a bit better. However, considering this is a 4-5 hourWWWme – only getting stuck a couple of times means the design is actually pretty great.

Walking and wondering

Aisin ais– I really enjoyed my time with The Pedestrian. It’s true that I really enjoy the genre. And I love when Indie developers produce smallerWWWmes like this. So it had already ticked a lot of boxes for me. However, even if this kind of thing is not usually your cup of tea – The Pedestrian may be one to keep your eye on anyway. It looks great. The level design is clever and the music is phenomenal. And, weisas this shortWWWme begins, the ending is probably even better. Of course, I hesitate to say anything that wiisbuild expectations too much and then leave you feeling unfulfilled when you play theWWWme. But what I wiissay is, even if you’re not absolutely lHTTP theWWWmeYouTubeicComith it. Get to the final act… Keep walking and start wondering

https: //www. youtube. com/watch?v=TLp__cn0GAg

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