Glyph is a puzzle game that was released at the start of 2021 on Nintendo Switch. Fast forward to today, and it’s also playable on PC via Steam. The game sees you taking on a range of levels whilst playing as a robotic scarab beetle that can morph into a ball.

Gameplay

Glyph has various mechanics at its disposal as you navigate your way around the various levels.

The first mechanic you can use is the jump function. The jump function is charged once you touch a surface. If you come into contact with a neon green surface, then it will give you the option to carry out a double jump, which is a really nice (and often needed) feature.

After you’ve carried out a jump, you’re also able to do a ground pound. This is a good way to get a make your landing spot on since you’ll immediately plummet to the ground.

The other mechanic is the glide function. This works really well, and I was surprised at how long you’re able to glide for. By chaining all of these abilities together, you’ll be able to navigate around each level.

Since it’s a puzzler though, instant death will happen if you touch the sand that is around you. That’s why it is so important to chain your moves together to stay clear of it.

In each level, there is at least one key. This is needed to unlock the exit of the level. There are also artefacts hidden in the level and also coins and gems. If you fall into the sand, any keys and artefacts that have been collected will be lost, but any coins or gems collected will be retained. This does take out a bit of the challenge of the game overall since you could just go for all the coins first and then attempt to get the keys afterwards.

The coins are used to access new levels, and the gems are used to unlock portals that will let you access new areas of the hub (to access the new levels).

In terms of difficulty, it’s a gradual increase in how it progresses. This is a relief since some puzzle/maze games will hit you with a difficulty spike fairly early on. That isn’t to say there aren’t some points where it can be frustrating to end up in the sand. On more than once occasion I ended up hitting the sand when I overshot the landing which was pretty annoying.

By and large the controls are spot on, and the freeform camera using the mouse is really good. The physics are great, but sometimes I found myself trying to climb up a wall and it wasn’t working. This was a random glitch most likely due to the geometry of the pillar, and not something seen at every instance when trying this throughout the game.

Graphics and Audio

This game is beautiful, there’s no doubt about it. The visuals have a relaxing feel to them, which is especially welcome when it comes to some of the more difficult puzzles. The pastel colours in the game are a real joy to look at as can be seen in the screenshots included in this review. I also really like that it’s not always during the day that you can play the game in. There are also some levels that are played at dusk and they look as equally as impressive.

I also really liked that there’s a visual indicator on your character to let you know your jump status. If the lights on your scarab are orange, you’ve got one jump in reserve and if green and orange lights are on, it means you can do a double jump. It’s a nice addition, and a great way to make the overall game screen clean and free of clutter from a HUD.

The sound effects in the game are subtle, and satisfying, like when you’re climbing up walls by hitting the jump button repeatedly. Likewise, the music has the same calming effect that the visuals do. It makes the trickier levels easier to deal with after failing on them several times. This isn’t a game that would do well with having a heavy metal sound track to it. It really is a charming game and one you don’t want to miss out on. Glyph is available now on Steam.

  • Gameplay
  • Visuals and Audio
  • Longevity
4.7

Summary

Glyph is a charming puzzle game, and a welcome addition to the genre. It has a real mix of relaxing and challenging levels that will keep you hooked for hours. Highly recommended.

Pros

Great graphics

Fun gameplay

Each level is timed, a great way to beat your previous attempt

Cons

Sometimes the controls can feel a bit lightweight