Infini looks like a cheap cash-grabbing mobile game that has been ported to Nintendo Switch in order to fool a few more users. Under that half-insane, half-tacky exterior though, you’ll find a game that’s deep and meaningful. It also presents a real challenge, as well as something that I didn’t expect to find — a unique way of solving puzzles.
In Infini, you play as Hope, the literal personification of hope who is forever falling downwards. Hope is lost and resorts to drinking something questionable in order to dive deep inside his subconscious and finally escape this downward spiral. The story only gets more bonkers and is told through completely absurd cutscenes that make absolutely no sense. With that said, these scenes are good for a laugh, and they provide context for the meat of the game, the puzzle-solving.
The core gameplay of Infini sees you guiding Hope as he falls from the top of the screen to the bottom, looping around should he fall too far. Every level is filled with obstacles, be they barriers or giant birds darting across the screen. You need to guide hope to the level’s exit in order to move on, but that is far easier said that done.
Each level begins zoomed right in on where Hope spawns. The levels are much larger and wider, but the barriers at the side of the screen can’t stop you if you can’t see them. In order to exit the level, you need to move Hope to a specific part of the screen and zoom out little by little. This will allow you to move around the barriers that would otherwise stop you.
If this sounds like a crazy game made up by a child who is constantly changing the rules, then you understand Infini perfectly. The game is designed to look, sound, and feel mad, but it’s actually extremely clever once you understand the mechanics.
It’s all about perspective
Once you get your head around moving Hope within a level and zooming out only when necessary, you’ve cracked the gameplay. Just as you finally grasp what’s happening though, the game’s levels become much harder.
I felt challenged by every level in Infini. I had to put the game down after attempting most levels 10 times over because I was getting so angry with myself. The issue with solving the levels isn’t a question of understanding; it’s all about your skill. Infini keeps changing the puzzle-solving knowledge that you need to progress though, ensuring that every level is as devious as the last.
In one way I think that certain people should stay away from Infini. If you don’t enjoy challenging games, then this really isn’t for you. If you love that feeling of overcoming a great obstacle, then download Infini as soon as you can.
So many barriers
In general though, Infini isn’t a game for everyone. The visuals look like the inside of Pablo Picasso’s brain, and the sound design matches. The game just isn’t aesthetically pleasing in any sense of the word. It’s a relentless assault on your being that will bash you over the head with something questionable at every turn.
While that might make the game sound like something to avoid, it really is quite funny if you can laugh at it. I laughed at almost every cutscene, just because they get progressively more unhinged as the story goes on. There’s absolutely no logic connecting anything that’s going on, and yet that’s what I loved most about it. If you need a story to make sense though, find something else.
Is this art?
If any game could make the case of being art that everyone perceives differently, it’s Infini. If you can get past the insanity of the visuals, story, and sound, there’s a really great puzzler to be found here. It’s a very clever game that I think would be useful as a tool to anyone with a question or crisis on their mind.
Everything else melts away as you play Infini. The game is so engrossing that nothing else seems to matter to you in the moment you’re playing. It puts you into an almost trance-like state, in which your mind forgets all the worries of the real world. When you eventually resurface, day-to-day problems seem like nothing at all.
The word puzzler doesn’t do Infini justice. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I’d say that it’s a game that everyone needs to try at least once. Very rarely do the mechanics in puzzle games surprise me, and I think Infini‘s are well worth exploring, even if you only have a vague interest in puzzlers.
Release Date: July 3, 2020
No. of Players: 1 player
A review code was provided by the publisher.