So this appeared in my Steam recommendations a few days ago. (I’m playing on PC, but there might be other versions.) It’s a first-person puzzle game that is a clear successor to–and at the same time is nothing like–Portal. You’re a red foam cut-out character in a child’s sandbox, and your village well is sabotaged by “the blues.” You are forthwith sent on a quest to find out why.

The (literal) sandbox is full of hidden areas, puzzles, and the occasional enemy, although early on fighting isn’t really all that important (and so far as I can tell there’s no penalty to death at all except an increasing "death count’). Usually you’re trying to solve puzzles to get to the next area, although as the game progresses you get additional capabilities that allow you to return to earlier regions and solve additional puzzles (some of which you probably never noticed were even there).

The advancement system is a little like a platformer: coins that you find lying about or in chests allow you to buy additional capabilties for your character. Secret “barrels” that have to be won in puzzles make more stock available in the shop for you to buy. There are a few pieces of critical equipment that are required to move on to new areas – these are not purchased, but are found at the end of the game’s major sub-quests.

The puzzles themselves are highly varied; a few are just the usual “flip the switches” or “jumping” puzzles, but the bulk of them involve modifying yourself, your equipment, or the environment in ways that allow you to reach the next goal. There are puzzles involving magnetism, gravity, color, various rube-goldberg machines, the material of which the environment is made, etc.

Example: In one early puzzle, one of the villagers is trying to get into a church to flip a switch for you. The occupant of the church (with a glowing gold halo) tells him he’s not holy enough. Your solution is to find a ring, paint it gold, and stand next to the door holding it over the villager’s head.

The game was apparently developed almost entirely by a single developer, and one of the design critera is “once you figure out how to solve the puzzle, you should be able to solve it easily, not struggle with the implementation.” Aside from a couple of jumping puzzles that involve changing direction in midair, that’s generally been true in my experience. Figuring out what to do can be tricky, but actually DOING it never takes more than an attempt or two. Even the jumping puzzles have a lot of forgiveness in them.

Anybody else playing?

Bumping my own poor, lonely thread to point out that there’s a free demo, also on Steam.