Review: Parcel, a Cyberpunk Puzzle Game from Polar Bunny

Review: Parcel, a Cyberpunk Puzzle Game from Polar Bunny
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Platforms:

Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Steam

Game Name:

Parcel

Publisher(s):

Polar Bunny Ltd

Developer(s):

Polar Bunny Ltd

Genre(s):

Adventure, Strategy

Release Date:

April 22nd, 2015

Parcel – What We Think:

Parcel is a game about shipping packets and avoiding lasers. Set in a not-so-distant future, Polar Bunny has given us a puzzle game that stands out in small ways, but enough to make a mark on the genre. Parcel offers lots of puzzles that most likely will make you frustrated – in a good way – packaged up in a quirky story.

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The story is introduced through optional pieces found in some levels. To get to them, you will have to solve the puzzle in front of you in a different way than if you only went for the goal. While I usually have a problem with holding the story back from the player in this way, in Parcel I think the extra puzzles add to the game, making the experience even better than before. The story itself is something you really should dig into on your own, and I would recommend you to do so.

Pre-Assembled

Parcel comes loaded with over 120 puzzles to bring you through this unexpectedly good story. Aside from the pre-made levels, there is also a level editor which is heavily promoted by Polar Bunny and with which you can create a theoretically endless wave of levels. Having the developers promote the level editor and offer a good way to upload your own levels and test out those made by others, this might be a game I’ll return to every now and then to try out some new ideas.

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The main design of the puzzles is to arrange a box in front of lasers which have robot spiders moving along them, so that you can safely pass. The levels are always adding something new or testing your newly-learned skills in a way that is never too hard, but which still can be challenging enough to give you a great feeling when you finally overcome them.

All Boxed In

This is done in a multitude of ways. The most fun was controlling four characters – all with one box each – and too many lasers to count. You will also have to navigate through multitude of different lasers using a variety of boxes, making your brain go all out trying to piece the level together.

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If you happen to have friends who are into puzzle games, this is one you should recommend to them, seeing that you can play it with up to three friends. Having four players moving about does get a little messy, but playing it with just one friend makes the experience great.

parcel

Parcel not only gives you great, satisfying puzzles, it also looks great while it slowly wears down your mind in between “Aha” moments. Parcel features a simple design and small levels where all the focus is on the puzzles themselves, but still keeps a unique look. When I stepped into the shoes of the game’s main character, my first thought was that I’d love to see this character design and visual approach in a toy.

Piece De Resistance

Parcel comes with a soundtrack built for the environmental and puzzle experience. The music is never stressful but hints at something larger, something mysterious for you to uncover. I found myself getting drawn into the puzzling adventure without thinking about the music at all, which is actually a compliment for this kind of score.

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The Total Package

Parcel conquered me with its great puzzle design, interesting story and visuals that fit perfectly with the rest of the game. Don’t expect to find anything new here – you can most likely find many other titles this year that take a similar approach to the puzzle genre.

But there is something with Parcel that draws me to it, something that has me going for that next level when I know I really should go to bed. And a puzzle game that you just want to play another level of – even when the wife has been telling you to stop playing for an hour – is a game I’ll gladly recommend to anyone interested in this genre.

Parcel is available via Steam.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Watch the trailer for Parcel below:

Karl de Maré

A Swede whom likes to play unique games, do research about how gaming affects young peoples political literacy, and who work on his own small and unique game in the spare time.

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