Puzzle games are usually chosen by indie developers because with their limited budget and workforce creating outstanding graphics and gameplay to match a mainstream FPS would be difficult, if not impossible. But this does not mean that most puzzle games are bad. A unique indie game with an interesting mechanic or one that has a great story, creativity, and addicting gameplay can be argued to be better than many current Triple-A titles out there right now. Crayon Physics meets these criteria.
In this indie game, your goal is to pass the levels by meeting a red ball with a yellow star. This is done, with crayons and physics. You can draw lines, shapes, and polygons that will be placed on the screen and then interact with the ball, the environment, or other shapes you have already drawn. An example of gameplay would be if your red ball is on one side of a chasm, while the star is on the other side. You can’t just roll the ball to the star, because it will fall down the chasm and you will lose. But what you can do is draw a plank to act as a bridge, or you could even construct a catapult to fling your ball to the other side. There are thousands of ways to complete each and every puzzle, and the fact that there is no definite solution to each problem makes this game great and gives it more replayability.
Levels are situated on islands, and you can unlock these islands by collecting a certain number of stars. You can get a star for completing a level, and you can get another for completing a level in three more ways: old-school, elegant and awesome. These parameters can make some levels extremely difficult, if not impossible because elegantly completing a level requires you to solve the puzzle with merely one line, and that can be incredibly difficult.
“Best indie game” would not be the right phrase for this word, however as this game has its flaws. The game is way too difficult for game children to play. The last island requires 120 stars to unlock, and that is a very difficult task to complete. Opening a crayon-figure man’s mouth, drawing the ball out, and reaching the star with just a one-line drawing will only grant you a single star!
What shines in this game is the soothing music and the feel of being a child and playing, with your own imagination playing the game. The world map is a wrinkled piece of paper with drawings of islands, sea monsters, and people. You can even draw on the map itself, edit it, and have fun with crayons again.
With a simple but pleasant presentation, great and unique gameplay concept, few flaws, a premise like no other, and a nice soundtrack to bring it all together; Crayon Physics is quite the indie game.
Conclusion: Great game all around, later levels are impossible but still recommended by the Best Indie Game Crew.