No fluff, just the important stuff. Reviews in 200 words or less with a number at the end. What more do you need?
You could be forgiven for thinking Expand is a puzzle game. The spherical game area, the maze like path and the simple pink square you control certainly give that impression. Expand is actually a platformer, although with an innovative and simple style.
The mechanics are basic and you play the entire game with just a thumb stick (there are keyboard controls but I cannot recommend a controller enough). The levels, for lack of a better term, are simple and fluid. You navigate the square through bare, minimalistic yet strangely beautiful areas which evolve as you move in a near hypnotic way. It’s about dodging obstacles and avoiding environments, but done in an unexpected art style.
What sets Expand apart is how that minimalist art style combines with a stunningly atmospheric soundtrack to create an almost meditative experience, particularly early on. The game gradually picks up speed but at a slow and subtle pace. In fact the pacing is near perfect and it wasn’t until almost halfway through the two hour game that I became aware that the platforming elements had come to the fore.
Both a great game and a great experience, it comes with the highest recommendation.
Completely unique and totally satisfying
Everything about Expand works. The art, the sound, it’s even as exactly long as it should be. And at the amazing price of $5.99 US on Steam, this is a game everyone should play.