I’ve been playing a game in a genre I don’t play often with Out Of Line – a puzzle platformer – and I have to say, I was very impressed in the brief gameplay the preview offered up. I wasn’t made aware of what section of the game this is from, though I suspect based on what I played, it’s the early stages. The game starts off with you waking up with an orange cube flying up to you and then flying away. There is nothing to explain why this has happened, all you know is you’re called San and your quest is to escape the factory that was once your home. I’m still lost as to why I need to escape as the details of the story are clearly going to be unveiled later. I was instantly drawn in despite this though as the graphics choice is sublime. It’s all hand-drawn and gives it a very fresh and unique look.
As well as the usual platforming run and jump skills, you’re given a spear which is used to help you with the puzzles and to reach higher places, as well as to control switches on the ground and move levers that allow progression to the next area. I get the impression it will have more uses as the game progresses. What you will also notice is that there are multiple characters on screen at the same time, but within different points of view. The art style chosen for Out Of Line really gives the graphics depth to show each section off as it’s all different. I get the impression it’s actually different versions of you in a different time space, though it’s not made clear in these early stages. Occasionally though, they will help you with a puzzle or you may have to help the other version get across an obstacle in order to complete section of a puzzle that you’re doing.
Out Of Line does have a great set up with the puzzles as in this hour long preview, whilst they were similar, they were different enough to keep it fresh. I just hope it introduces other elements besides the spear to aid in this. It did give a glimpse on where it might go as, during latter parts some bug like creatures would help you by going to places you can’t access, which would then move an object out of your way, and you had to help them by making sure light didn’t touch them. It also introduced an enemy encounter which was a claw that had a beaming red light with a coned vision which moved across sections of the level. If that saw you then game over and you would revert back to the previous check point. Through this short selection of gameplay from Out Of Line, one thing I couldn’t really make a judgement on was the audio. It wasn’t memorable in any way, but it was so brief it’s tough to comment. Speaking of brief… things ended just as it started to get really interesting, and another character did appear who looked like an adult familiar to San. Who this is or will be I have no idea. Safe to say though, it’s certainly one to keep an eye out for.
If that’s got you interested so far in Out Of Line, then it’s worth checking out the latest reveal trailer, and taking onboard what the development team are saying about the game. On top of that, there’s a live dev Q&A session on 29th April if you keep an eye on @Nerd_Monkeys over on Twitter.
“Out Of Line is being designed with a stylized approach. The mechanics of the game revolve around San’s spear, something the character sees as a tool that will help him navigate this strange world… …we want players to learn through experimentation, constantly tinkering with puzzles until they find a logical solution. This design philosophy plays a thematic role in our game, as most individuals find their purpose through trial and error.” – Francisco Santos, Lead Artist at Nerd Monkeys.
“We are thrilled to be the publisher Out Of Line later this year as we are keen to bring to fans of puzzle, platformers and action games a unique experience and a full immersion thanks to the story and the beautiful poetic world of Out of Line” – Philippe Dao, CEO & Co-founder of Hatinh Interactive.
A PC preview code for Out Of Line was provided by Nerd Monkey’s PR team, and the game will be out in the summer on PC and Switch, and later in the year for PS4 and Xbox One.