Pills4Skills – What We Think:
In Pills4Skills from developer Petro Shoferystov, the quest for hallucinogens takes some interesting twists and turns (quite literally). Each of the 72 stages has three capsules to find, and to reach them all requires flipping the world around. Spikes, saw blades and other implements of instant death litter the path to each next hit. It’s time to admit you have a problem.
Gravity is for the sober, and sobriety sucks. Running and jumping will get you only so far. Some of the pills and the key to exit the level can be found out of immediate reach.
The Z and C keys will quickly whip the level around 90 degrees to the left and right respectively. Turn the world on its head by hitting the X key. There is no spoon, and terms like “ceiling” and “floor” are only relative to where you are standing in the now.
Jagged Little Pill
World-wrenching is a great skill, but it requires mindfulness. Those harmless wall spikes quickly become a deadly bed of nails when sideways and down swap hats. The planet literally revolves around you, but saw blades and lasers will happily cut you down if your paths cross.
Caution will cost you time, and any contact with a death instrument is going to end your run. In short, prepare to die often. Clearing a stage of all its pills under a set time limit will reward the player with a “Trip to Hell” version of the next level. These are especially grueling, but the satisfaction for clearing them is a high unto itself.
Strangely, despite numerous dashed attempts, the game doesn’t get at all frustrating. Falling to pieces is just the price of admission, and the next attempt at a speed run is easy to take up. It’s a wickedly addictive process, and how fitting is that?
The Blue Pill
Graphically, the game is bare bones. At first blush, this is a strictly function over polish affair. The hero, spikes and platforms are for the most part completely monochromatic, and don’t feature any textures.
However, as each pill is consumed, a new graphical filter is applied to the world. Some will result in a mainly harmless change in color and texture, but others can really distort space, making landing already precise jumps incredibly difficult. In this way, the game dazzles, and the visuals can even force you to change how you play.
Tune In and Drop Out
Get out your glowsticks. The soundtrack is a fast paced, rave-friendly affair. The otherworldly industrial theme plays especially nice alongside the blindfolded trip through the slaughterhouse that is the gameplay, and is right at home with the frequent visual switcheroos.
It’ll Trip You A New One
Pills4Skills is one tricky little puzzle platformer. Though the levels can all be solved by taking a number of different paths, players hungry for the A+ rating are going to need to be quick about it. The randomization of pill effects can either make or break your best effort. It’s one hell of a trip.
Pills4Skills is available via Steam and the Google Play Store.
Watch the trailer for Pills4Skills below: