[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]hreshold by QuadraTron Games is a game set in the incredibly crowded genre of puzzle platformers. When its Kickstarter campaign launched earlier in January it was incredibly easy to be swayed by the beautiful hand-painted imagery. But beyond that, I couldn’t help but feel a little reserved. The puzzle gameplay concept, which focuses around switching between two seasons (effectively showing one of two platform layouts on screen) had been done before. It also happened to sound a bit perplexing. In this game the mechanic of switching between two pre-set platform layouts is activated by turning the protagonist left or right. How on earth would this work out in a real gameplay session? Something about the whole thing just didn’t connect with me.

It all made sense when I finally had a controller in my hands and gave Threshold a whirl. This wasn’t due to any sort of press privilege – the game was available for anyone at Magfest 13 to play! So let’s get right into explaining why this game is awesome and how it’s incredible that it hasn’t already seen stronger support on its crowdfunding campaign. The demo itself was fairly short, about under 10 puzzle screens in all, but that’s all anyone needed to get a feel for it.

Threshold is a puzzle platformer thats crowdfunding on Kickstarter from QuadraTron.

As this was a convention-focused demo build I didn’t get any sort of tutorialization. Thankfully, with knowledge of the Kickstarter fresh in my mind it wasn’t hard to get going. Every puzzle took place on one “screen” although the screen could – and occasionally did – pan up and down to hold more vertically-focused challenges. You begin at the bottom as your cute hooded wizard character and need to reach doorways, which tend to be on floating platforms in the sky. Just jumping to them seems easy enough until the realization dawns that whenever you turn left or right your access to certain platforms changes.

Some platforms exist in both seasonal realities, but others disappear right under your feet! At first it’s challenging to grasp Threshold’s biggest concept. After all, in most puzzle games of this type you are under control of swapping realities with a button press totally unrelated to movement. Thankfully, whenever you’re in one season you can always see the ghost of other platforms superimposed over the landscape so you know what will appear. On the other hand, you can’t really tell when a platform will disappear. You’ve simply got to test switching seasons out.

Threshold is a puzzle platformer thats crowdfunding on Kickstarter from QuadraTron.

Things become more complicated once keys are added into the equation. Of course, these are required to open up the door. There are three types of keys and two of them can only be grabbed when in the appropriate season. This mechanic in particular confused the heck out of me until I finally realized that walking through the left or right edge of the screen warps you around to the other end. One thing that didn’t work (which I had hoped for) was the ability to switch seasons while jumping. It seemed like something that would exist, but then again it might allow players to “cheat” their way through puzzles that are supposed to require more thoughtful execution.

I came away from the Threshold demo feeling incredibly excited. Now I knew what exactly the developers meant in their campaign. Not only that, but it was great to realize that the game is so much more than just another platformer with a gorgeous art style. The team really hopes to get a demo up on the Kickstarter page soon and I sincerely hope they do so, even if it does end up being the same build I played. Despite a few slight issues it showcases the game fantastically and just may be the push some people need to put down a pledge.

About the Author

Marcus Estrada

Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come.

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