Developers: Tyler Glaiel, Jon Schubbe, and Christopher Rhyne
Publisher: Eyebrow Interactive
Review Platform: PC
Review Copy Provided By: Eyebrow Interactive
Release Date: September 7, 2012
Sometimes it can get so dark that it appears you are in the void and nothing else exists. In Closure, that is actually the case. If light touches it, it exists. If it is shrouded in darkness, all is void. Closure actually started out as a Flash game before being revamped and moving to the Playstation 3 on PSN. Developed by the three-man indie studio Eyebrow Interactive, Closure is a platforming puzzle game with black and white styling similar to Limbo (though it is safer to say Limbo is similar to Closure since the Flash game predates Limbo). Having enjoyed success on two platforms, Closure is coming back to PC in proper form as a port of the PS3 version.
Closure is one of those artsy games that will leave you scratching your head trying to interpret the plot and that is not a bad thing. With no cut-scenes or dialogue, the only indications of a deeper meaning are the environments and puzzles. You play as a spider demon thing that takes on the personas of 3 humans; a factory worker, a woman, and a little girl. Each world belongs to a persona and takes place in an environment respective to whatever situation you want to attribute their connection to the spider demon. That sounds cryptic but there are at least two theories out there among the forums that are equally convincing and it really is up to the player to interpret the game themselves unless official plot explanations come from the developer themselves.
As soon as you start a new game, you get a mini tutorial of the gameplay. This is the kind of tutorial that doesn’t hold your hand or spell it out for you. As you get to a concept, the game will display the button you should use and that is as far as it goes in hand holding. The tutorial puzzles are set up to be simple enough to where you pick up the concept and understand it. As mentioned before, light is the name of the game. If something is not lit up, it does not exist. This will become clear to the player after they have fallen a couple times through black space where a platform used to exist.
The core gameplay is all about moving and positioning light generating objects to reach the end of a level. These objects include things like orbs you can carry around and adjustable light fixtures. One of the cooler light manipulations in the game is a track that you can put the light orb on and it will move from the one end to the other. This leads to being able to follow the light circle hands free. If the track runs up a wall, you can actually ride the top of lights aura up the wall since the parts of the wall in darkness don’t exist.
After the tutorial, there are 72 levels of puzzles to work your way through. Three worlds of 24 levels each connected via a hub world that the spider demon is dropped into. Finish a level to unlock the next level. The great thing about Closure that keeps it addicting is that there is no real pressure or punishment outside of having to restart the level if you die. Levels are short enough to keep that just one more try feeling going. Levels restart automatically if you die or you can hit the reset button at any point with no load screens.
The further you progress in the game, the more difficult the puzzles get as expected. The only downside is sometimes the difficulty is purely due to light placement and not necessarily tricky concepts. Nothing is worse than your placement being half a pixel off where it needed to be and you fall through the void to your death. If you cheat and look up solutions to levels online, Closure tends to be a short game. If you man up and try to solve everything yourself, you will easily get your money’s worth out of this game.
Closure has a structure that is just plain addicting. Bite sized levels, quick level restart, & puzzling gameplay will keep you wanting to try just one more time. Strangely, Closure has received little press and has been around for a couple of years in some form or another. That is a real shame because it deserves to be spoken of in the same breath has other indie darlings like Braid and Limbo. Hopefully this new release on PC will get it the audience it deserves.