I do love a good puzzle-platformer, but they can tend to be a bit samey. Happily then, Skookum Arts’ The Pedestrian offers something a little fresher and more innovative. It still involves the usual climbing ladders, grabbing keys, pulling levers, jumping hazards, etc., but the slant is you have to arrange how individual sections of the game environment connect to each other. Oh, and you play as the generic man/person symbol commonly found in public signage.
The Pedestrian’s short demo, available now over on itch.io, lets you play the game’s tutorial and introduces you to the basic mechanics, which are conveyed clearly and concisely by dialogue-free animations. The aim is to move from sign to sign and get to the exit of each area. In order to do so, you first need to arrange the signs in the right order and link them together. There’s a simple and intuitive logic to it all. A left-handed door can only connect to a right-handed one, the top of a ladder to the bottom of another. Once satisfied, you can test out your combination by moving the man through the signs and across the obstacles.
As you complete each puzzle, you continue your journey through the 3D office, via the 2D wall signs of course, down an elevator and into a warehouse – passing computer desks, meeting and tea rooms, storage facilities, heavy machinery, and so on – as part of a developing narrative. There’s a very cheerful and upbeat vibe to it all, and I can’t help but think of the old Micro Machines racing games – that sense of feeling tiny and peeking into other people’s lives. The puzzles, so far, aren’t too taxing, but they’re enjoyable and satisfying, and the blurb seems to suggest that they do get harder.
The Pedestrian is coming to Windows and Mac in spring 2017. You can check out its Steam page here and the trailer below.