Monochrome Japanese Perspective Puzzles

February 21, 2008

I have a thing for purposeful monochromatic constructions, devices that simultaneously tickle my parietal and occipital lobes, Venn diagrams of precious little intersection of the trickster, beauty and math. Childhood ingredients included parts Escher, Pinball Construction Set and the Basel School. This week I was ecstatic to be exposed to not one, but two examples of this meter—one physical, the other virtual, both Japanese, rendered in white, challenges to be experimented with.

Wall First is Illoiha’s insanely cool climbing wall. As I said to one .tiff, this gym in Ebisu tugs on my spidey heartstrings. Your vertical progress is marked by gripping picture frames, flower vases and in one case, a deer head. As anyone who’s drank the bouldering Kool-Aid, seeing a manifestation of the real world in white, pared down to the basic physical forms that demand to be climbed is a beautiful thing.

Second is the reality distortion of Echochrome, a minimalist game built around the brilliant concept of turning what you see into what happens. To paraphrase, Echochrome is an Escher puzzle made live. Control is handled simply by rotating the stage, while the mannequin walks around blindly, falling through holes and bouncing off jump pads until you’ve assembled the stage in a manner that reaches closure.

I anxiously await March 18, and debating how to retrieve my PSP. :P My fingers are crossed hoping Echochrome is another Portal, Rez or—at least a little—Katamari. It’s promising.

E3 2007 Trailer

GDC 2008 Video, via Destructoid: