She Remembered Caterpillars Reviews

AuthorReview
Titanium Dragon
106,299
Titanium Dragon
TSA Score for this game: 191
Posted on 30 January 18 at 23:48
This review has 2 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
She Remembered Caterpillars is a simple isometric puzzle game where you navigate colored bugs across bridges and through obstacles to reach their destination.

This game includes a relatively small number of core mechanics. There are three colors of bug – blue, red, and yellow – and these correspond to obstacles. However, there’s an added layer of complexity, as each of these bugs can be combined with exactly one other bug, generating purple, orange, and green, which also correspond to obstacles. These combined bugs can then be split back apart, yielding their original constituent bugs. On top of this, there are colorless bugs and, in one stage, a black bug which counts as *every* color.

The obstacles mostly are color coded. There are colored bridges, which require a bug of the right color to cross. Combined bugs count as being *both* colors that they are, in addition to their third, combined color, meaning that a green bug (blue + yellow) can cross a blue bridge, a yellow bridge, or a green bridge. The combined color bridges (purple, orange, and green) can *only* be crossed by the combined bugs – being just one constituent color or the other is not good enough.

The opposite of these are colored blockers, which will allow anyone *except* a bug of the matching color through – so a red barrier will allow any non-red bug through. Combined bugs count as both of their component colors, so if either bug is the “wrong” color, they can’t get through these barriers – and, unlike the bridges, a combination color (such as green) will block not only the combination, but also the individual bugs that can combine to form that color – thus, a green barrier will *only* allow red and colorless bugs through.

There are also color swappers – if a bug of the matching color walks up to one, they will lose their color and become colorless. If a colorless bug walks up to one, they will gain the color of the color swapper.

Finally, there are beetle bridges, which only allow bugs over in a single direction. However, the catch here is that this direction switches every time a bug walks across a bridge – so if a bridge starts out as left to right, and then a bug walks across it, it now only runs right to left. This allows bugs to freely cross back and forth across these bridges, but if you need to get two bugs across such a bridge, you’ll have to find some clever work around – you cannot combine them into a single bug, as it won’t allow combined bugs to cross the bridge.

While this is a small number of mechanics, it ultimately results in a pretty decent variety of puzzles – and while all of the levels are quite short, each taking no more than a couple minutes to solve if you know what you’re doing (and most taking under a minute), you are likely to spend much longer than that on many of the later levels, as you have to figure out ways to use the level mechanics to maneuver the bugs into the correct positions in the right order. Each puzzle element is gradually introduced over the course of the game, starting off with a tutorial level of sorts for each mechanic before making things ever more increasingly complicated, and by the 29th level, all of them have been introduced, beyond which point the puzzles freely combine all the mechanics into various challenging patterns. I beat the first 12 levels within about 15 minutes or so, but it took me about 4 hours to defeat all 40 of the levels in this game.

At the end, however, I’m left with this quandary: is the game actually something I’d recommend?

It certainly isn’t bad, and a number of the puzzles were reasonably clever. I would often be frustrated by some of the later puzzles, feeling like they were impossible to solve, until I got a sudden insight, at which point, solving it would be simple. A lot of it was about ordering, or realizing that I was missing a critical route which would allow me to free up a bug for another task I needed it to do.

However, at the same time, I can’t say that this was something that really wowed me in any way. The overlying “story”, such as it was, was not anything I could really get invested in, and was kind of confusing to read in fits and snatches, as my brain was wholly preoccupied with the puzzles rather than the few lines of text that appeared between each level.

That just leaves the game itself – and while it is a decent and reasonable puzzle game, it isn’t anything that really left me excited to tell other people “Yeah, you should play this!” It was, more or less, a thing to do – something experienced for a few hours, then discarded, likely to never be thought about again.

This leaves the game overall in the sort of position where someone who is into puzzle games might find it a mildly amusing diversion, but it is just average in that regard. If you already have a copy of it, it might be worth checking out if you are a puzzle fan, but if you don’t already own it, I don’t see much point in going out of your way to buy it and play it. And if you aren’t a big puzzle fan, I doubt you’re going to get much out of this, as that’s all there really is.
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