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Area 86 takes the idea of an escape room game, adds a bunch of physics interactions with an unwieldy little robot as the protagonist and gives you a pretty good time for your monies.

The story here is relatively simple, with it taking place on a space station where the AI has become corrupted and you need to stop it. You don't come here for the story though, you come here for the challenge. You might also come across a few other robot friends to set free.

Inspired by the likes of Human: Fall Flat, Overcooked and Portal you need to explore, push, throw and destroy your way through each level as you find the solution to escape. It's not easy, and some of it's actually quite hilarious.

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Each level is quite different, with multiple ways you can solve the puzzles. I've ended up quite literally falling through something into a solution here and there. Since it's all physics-based, if you have good logical mind it probably won't be too difficult to complete. If you do get stuck though, there's a handy hint/task system so you get a reasonable idea of what to try. That doesn't mean it's easy though, and there's quite a few things you need to do in each level.

Part of what makes it challenging is the protagonist, a sweet little blocky robot that's a little tricky to control. Not overly so but accelerate too fast and you might screw up, which thanks to the physics system can make it pretty funny.

Feature Highlight:

  • Smooth physics-based gameplay
  • Destructible environment
  • Robot parkour
  • Pleasant puzzles and tasks
  • Secret places and hidden objects

Looks like they've had a very quiet release, with currently only 1 counted user review on Steam. A shame but unless you do some good marketing, there's too many others to get noticed. It's lucky I found it a while ago and got a little hooked by the idea or it's possible I might have missed it too.

Find Area 86 out now on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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5 comments

no_information_here 16 Apr, 2020
Looks cute. Could be great if the levels are well-designed.
Eike 21 Apr, 2020
Anyboy else already played it and want to give their expressions?
It's still at only 2 reviews in my languages... :-/


Last edited by Eike on 21 April 2020 at 2:39 pm UTC
flesk 21 Apr, 2020
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I've only played about four levels so far, because I got too caught up in Yooka-Laylee, but I'm enjoying it so far. From what I understand, it's not 100% complete yet, as there are only eight or so levels in the menu, and a message saying more to come.

Before I bought it, I thought it would be similar to Good Job! or Moving Out, ie. simple puzzles with focus on destruction. However, the description on the store page is a better description of what the game is, a "physics-based escape room puzzle". That is, each level has a bunch of clues scattered throughout that you need to piece together to figure out how to open the exit. Often that includes performing some light platforming (with more platforming required to find collectibles), moving and/or destroying things, finding and operating various gadgets, etc. I think this concept works very well, and I intend to go back to finish the game, and hopefully write a short review (though I'm still having a hard time writing much of anything).

The game is very "free-form" though, which I think can probably be a bit frustrating at times, when it's not clear if you're really working towards a solution. It seems to also be possible to destroy clues, which means you can inadvertently make the game more difficult for yourself, without realizing. It's also easy to think that you need to pull off some difficult platforming, when usually the solution is a more "thinky" one, because of the way the levels are designed.

So, all in all, I think it has the potential to be a very interesting game, but it's possibly a bit short on content right now, and it could benefit from being a bit more streamlined.

EDIT: But also, destroying things is fun. :)


Last edited by flesk on 21 April 2020 at 1:50 pm UTC
Eike 21 Apr, 2020
Quoting: fleskBefore I bought it, I thought it would be similar to Good Job! or Moving Out, ie. simple puzzles with focus on destruction. However, the description on the store page is a better description of what the game is, a "physics-based escape room puzzle".

And off to wishlist it goes!
Thanks!
no_information_here 25 Apr, 2020
Quoting: fleskSo, all in all, I think it has the potential to be a very interesting game, but it's possibly a bit short on content right now, and it could benefit from being a bit more streamlined.
Thanks, flesk. I always appreciate your opinions and reviews!
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