I’ve been tooling around with the recently released Crayon Physics Deluxe, and so far, I’ve been having a lot of fun. I’m not sure if there’s really enough there to justify the $19.95 price point, but the demo is certainly worth downloading.

crayon physics

The premise behind crayon physics is extremely simple. There is a small red ball, and it has to get to the star in the level. To do this, you draw shapes with your cursor, which then come to life as real physics objects that your ball can roll on. To some degree, how you complete each puzzle is up to you, but in most of the stages, there’s definitely a ‘right’ way to do things.

The drawing and physics system is responsive and very intuitive, with none of the confusion between lines and blocks endemic to some games using similar ideas. The simplicity of Crayon Physics really works to the game’s benefit.

Visually, the game is pretty amazing, perfectly simulating a child’s drawing, right down to the fold marks on the paper. As the screenshot above shows, some clever vignetting enhances the effect, and also serves to focus attention towards the middle. Anything already present at the start of a level is very precisely placed, with almost nothing that is not necessary for the puzzle. Of course, for the community created levels, this is often not the case.

The music perfectly matches the visual style and chilled gameplay of the game, and is very competently produced. In a lot of ways it reminds me of two Icelandic groups, Amiina and Múm.

All in all, though, I tired fairly quickly of Crayon Physics Deluxe. Even with the community creations from the excellent level editor, I just found that every level kept coming back to very similar solutions, and it didn’t hold my attention for much more than a couple of hours.

That’s me, though. I accept my opinion on the matter is entirely subjective, and I perhaps have not spent enough time with the game. So I certainly don’t expect my experience to mirror *everyone* else’s, or even the majority’s.  But that’s what the demo is for! I recommend everyone download it immediately.

Note: There is also a homebrew game for the Nintendo DS called Pocket Physics with very similar aesthetics and gameplay to Crayon Physics. As it’s free, I have no qualms about recommending it to anyone with a flashcart. It can be downloaded here.