Initially released in 2018 for PC, a quirky little puzzle game named Youropa is soon to release on the Nintendo Switch. Featuring mind-bending spectacles and gravity-defying puzzles, it’s a charming if little obtuse and funky experience, suited quite well for the handheld platform.
Players control a small non-descript figure, illuminated and made unique only by the paintwork you so choose to include on it. This includes colouring and adding clothing, facial features and accessories. This is but one of the ways Youropa encourages creativity. Another is in the weird, trippy and untraditional ways you’ll solve puzzles.
Your goal is simple. Navigate the world of Youropa, restoring the fragmented locations to their former glory. Regular perspective changes and creative thinking will work hand-in-hand as you navigate through your journey.
Serving as a 3D puzzle-platformer hybrid, you’re situated on a series of concrete-jungle islands, floating in the sky. Your humanoid ‘You’ character (short for Youropean) has suction cups for feet and as such can walk up walls and ceilings. This becomes entirely mind-bending as you’ll sort of navigate corners and edges while remaining on the planet’s orbit. What was once the floor becomes the ceiling and vice versa.
I speak from experience when I say it’s a charming game that I don’t know I’ll stick with. I played the new Switch version ahead of release and it fits well among the plethora of unique, atypical indies found on the platform’s catalogue. Puzzles are quite stock-standard and involve flipping a lever or moving a box onto a pressure plate. But even that mechanical ability is delivered to you in segments. It’s only a little in that you get the ability to carry and place objects, or kick them into relevant positions to solve a puzzle.
Other than that, you’re slot in situations where you have hostile pursuers and you’re a little too slow. Take damage or get wet and the paint on your You will diminish. Once you’re entirely a blank figure once more, this results in a pretty negligible Game Over that will near instantaneously respawn you somewhere close. Considering all this, tedium remained my biggest barrier with Youropa. I thankfully wasn’t nauseous or motion sick upon moving between normal planes and upside down, only a little turned around from time to time.
While not for me, Youropa undeniably has some clever and smart puzzle work behind it. The addition of being able to customise and create your own levels also adds for just more of that experimentation spark that the game offers so well. With that alone, I’m confident it’ll find a new audience on the Switch.
Youropa is available now on PC and releases October 6 on the Nintendo Switch. You should check it out.