Monday, January 30, 2012


When I play any video game, not just a browser game, I try not to let the visuals bother me too much. So long as I can figure out what something is in a very general sense, I'm okay. The fact that I've extensively played Dwarf Fortress in the past should be proof of this claim.

So when I say that Closure's graphics have me damn torn on this game, you should know that I'm not kidding around. I've never vacillated between 'amazing' and 'so hard on the eyes' as much in any other game - though whichever way I go, I doubt I'll NOT play Closure, 'cause it's bloody brilliant.

(For the record, it's 'Closure.' with a period at the end. For the sake of not muddling up my grammar, though, I'll just call it Closure, without the period.)


I cannot go too deep into Closure's story without giving a lot away. You might wonder at first if there IS a story. The answer is yes, there's a plot tucked away in Closure... but you need to do some digging to find it. Do so yourself, as it's rather neatly done, if deliberately confusing.

Beyond the plot is a game wherein you, some dude, are trapped in a world consisting of light, shadow and numerous background details that only appear when light is cast upon them. There is a trick here, however - if light is not shed upon an item, it does not exist. Consequently, if you try to walk where there is no light, you won't just stumble around... you'll fall to your death. (Happens a lot, so that really just means starting the level over.)

The idea of playing with light in such a unique way is brilliant. Even more so, though, is the way in which you discover light's unique properties, as you're never really told how it works - you just have to figure it out as you go along, with a few scant instructions included on the walls. As the light moves around you'll discover how to use its creation properties to your advantage, however, thereby solving puzzles that block your path to doors leading to subsequent levels. Excellent mechanic.


Closure's controls are very simple. Arrow keys lead you about, down allows you to pick up an orb of light or key, space drops the aforementioned object, and another down opens the door to the next level. Easy enough to understand.

To use, though? Not so much. It's not that Closure's controls are problematic or jerky or whatever. No, it's the damned jumping that always gets me, 'cause your guy can't leap very FAR when he tries, and if you're not spot on you'll probably drop to your doom. This can usually be solved by smarter placement of light orbs, though, so I imagine the lack of air time is deliberate.


Here we go. The major are of contention.

Don't get me wrong. Closure's visuals are wonderful. It's such a unique game, and half that stems from the bizarre way in which its depicted. Very impressive for a browser game.

At the same time... Closure is hard to play. Because the way light and shadow is used is bad for the eyes. The visuals are very sketchy, if that makes sense, and the way they were employed bugged my corneas from start to finish. Maybe this is just me, but the point stands - Closure is sure to please some, irritate others, and, if you're like me, confuse yet others.

Not sure where I stand, in short. Help?


Closure's audio bugged me for a while. It relies primarily on spooky music to fill the time, and though it was okay at first, the constantly-looping nature of the track got on my nerves, and distracted from the puzzles.

What I DIDN'T realize at first was the more fluid nature of the audio. As you get further into Closure the music changes, picking up in pace depending on how you're reacting to the environment - and, often, introducing dire musical shifts that may screw you up, 'cause you think a monster's gonna jump on your from the darkness.

Oh, and lest I forget, there are occasional, unexpected ambient noises that point even more vigorously at impending attack. So brace yourself, as you'll probably jump in your seat when these pop up.

Altogether? Good use of sound. A bit annoying at times, but overall solid.

Challenge Rating

Bloody hell. I won't mince words - Closure is a bitch to complete. It's not the most difficult puzzle game I've played, but it nevertheless has the chops to aggravate even the smartest of players. It's very easy to forget that darkness equals a bottomless pit, and whenever you fall victim to such forgetfulness, well, start over.

For the most part, Closure is fair in its difficulty. The levels scale evenly enough, and there aren't many that are absolutely stymieing without outside aid. That said there are a few early levels that are horrifying to beat until you learn what needs to be done, primarily because the game doesn't TELL you that you can do certain things (in my case, this pertained to taking balls of lights out of floating lamps). A little eensy weensy bit more direction, please?

Overall, Closure is fair. Not always, but generally. Just... don't expect it to hold your hand for long.


Despite the questionable graphics and unforgiving difficulty, Closure is still a brilliant game. It sports some of the most innovative puzzle challenges I've seen in a while, and despite its length (you can conceivably play through it in about twenty minutes, assuming you're a super genius) most players should get a solid hour or two of play. Very, very well done.


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