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The Eternal Cylinder

The Eternal Cylinder

The origin of species at the world's end.

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The Eternal Cylinder has an enormous metallic cylinder on the surface of an unnamed planet, and that cylinder crushes everything. The thing can be stopped, if not destroyed, by using huge magic towers. Activating these structures is left to a creature named Trebhum and his friends, who have a distinctive snout. Luckily these dudes have the greatest power in the universe at their disposal: evolution. As this literal growth story progresses, the escape under that huge cylinder gets easier with ever-increasing skills and attributes.

When the cylinder has stopped next to magic towers, it is time for the player to guide the Trebhums to new adventures. Aside from a mumbling narrator, in terms of story, those important parts are pointed as blue beams from the towers. And those blue beams point to your next point of interest. Getting to your destination requires a certain amount of Trebhums, so numbers are just as important part as getting more skills. The story of The Eternal Cylinder doesn't seem to be that important, even though the secrets of the cylinder are interesting.

The Eternal Cylinder

Your team has a maximum of six Trebhums, and they all look pretty much the same with their big snouts and all. Still, character development is a big part of the experience. These Trebhums can suck berries with their snout, and those berries offer mutations and superpowers. This way their feet get better at jumping, Trebhum gets to be more cubicle in order to fits cubic spaces, and with a special snout skill, you may honk your snout to scare some enemies away with the sound of your mighty snout.

Sucking happens by using the shoulder buttons of the DualShock controller, and with a square button, Trebhum can roll like Samus Aran in Metroid. Rolling around reminds me of Metroid Prime's weird and great sci-fi environments. Also, these round and colourful creatures remind me of Will Wright's evolutionary game Spore. Character models are not that detailed, and the environments are crude and simple, but other than that The Eternal Cylinder rolls around just fine. Although the loading times on PS4 are long compared to how small each area actually is. I didn't feel like there was a need to use a map, because those blue beams from the towers were enough to point to my next objective. The Eternal Cylinder has a little too many distinctively empty spaces, even if level design as a whole is unique and fun to watch.

The Eternal Cylinder

Sloppy controls make jumping especially an ordeal and require too many tries. On the other hand, Trebhums are not good at platforming in general with their short legs and round structure. This actually makes it more clear, that these small heroes are really the underdog threatened by a huge metallic cylinder. These small survival elements are not explored deeper, but they don't take too much space either as a whole. The biggest survival mechanic is a common water bar, that starts to diminish when Trebhums move around. The player needs to squash water flies to fill the bar. And yes: splatting water around also diminishes the total amount of water available.

The Eternal Cylinder is one the weirdest indie games this year, right there with Anodyne 2: Return to Dust and Sludge Life. The Eternal Cylinder's imaginative action does not make apologies, so if you are looking for something different to play, here it is.

The Eternal CylinderThe Eternal Cylinder
The Eternal Cylinder
07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
+
A lot of personality in character and level design, surprising character development, the amount of stuff to do, weird and interesting story.
-
Sloppy controls, the narrator is bad, occasional technical problems.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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