World Splitter is bringing a new type of puzzle to 2D platformers as it features two simultaneous maps in each level. Sounds interesting? Probably because it is.
NeoBird created a puzzle game that is a breath of fresh air in an area where one would think all the creativity was exhausted, given the extensive list of puzzles that were utilised in titles by other developers. One can only imagine that pulling such a feat off was quite the titanic task and considering it required the devs to include two separate maps for each level to put the puzzles together, to say that World Splitter deserves admiration would be an understatement.
Double map puzzle
World Splitter is true to its name since you have to split reality apart all the time in order to progress through each level. They are designed with two maps on top of each other and you are alternating reality every second of playing the game.
With the goal to extract a number of NPCs to the exit area in each map, you will have to reach them first by using the terrain of both maps that are present. This usually translates to using the rift between two realities to propel yourself in a supernatural elevator kind of way.
While it's hard to explain how the reality alteration works in World Splitter, remembering the Effect and Cause level in Titanfall 2 might help out. This is probably the closest comparison to what NeoBird's game is all about, except World Splitter offers 60 such levels, albeit with varying degrees of complexity.
Also, the main difference between the two is that Cooper would push the button and the entire reality would shift back in time while you are balancing both realities simultaneously, by utilising what is best described as a rift axis.
Furthermore, you can flip the rift line in either direction as well as move the axis which is the centre of rotation, offering virtually limitless possibilities when altering the map. That said, there isn't much variation in solving the puzzles as one only way tends to be correct and other solutions are fairly similar.
You can either blow through levels or master them
Solutions for getting through the level are not that hard - you can go through each level without too much trouble since you are altering reality, after all. That said, if you want to achieve the best score possible and properly master every level, there is a lot of work and many stimulating tasks for your brain ahead.
Each level has a number of NPCs you need to rescue along the way, making the progression less than linear. To attain the best completion, you will need to grab all the NPCs in fairly narrow time window and not rotate your rift too much. The game will track how much you rotate and will give you a rotation degree milestone, where you can grab gold, silver, bronze or no medal. It is the same for the time attack while the number of saved NPCs is simply counted based on your performance.
Furthermore, all of your level progress can be tracked in the stats panel that can be accessed through the main menu so you can replay any level that you might want to fully complete.
Ramping up the puzzle
If the medal incentives and score are not enough to properly challenge your brain, World Splitter will introduce additional modifiers later on. For example, you will encounter enemies that can kill you so you will need to manipulate your way around them or try to trap them by using your rift.
Besides that, you will get some additional powers as you go one, such as the ability to jump over small obstacles or preview what the other reality looks like, without having to drag the rift over it. The latter takes some time to get used to but becomes incredibly useful when you master it.
With worlds and maps always introducing new things, you will have 60 levels of an evolving challenge to tease your brain as you attempt to rescue these curious creatures in a time as short as possible.
NeoBird certainly dipped into untested waters here and playing through the game definitely left me with an impression that an immense amount of effort went into crafting these dual-layer levels. That alone warrants attention but if developer creativity alone is not enough for you to take a closer look at World Splitter, maybe the promise of working your way through a ton of puzzles might be.