Sable – This is a Strange Game But Freaking Beautiful

Sable is a very promising story-rich open-world game with lots of punch in the aesthetics and some very captivating design qualities. Most noticeably, is the 2D illustration in a 3D environment, but also the story. Gamers will feel like they are flipping through a really high-quality graphic novel that has come to life on whatever system they’re using to play it on.

I wondered throughout the demo whether this was an alien world, a fantasy world, an ancient world, or something that exists within its own celestial sphere of storytelling. In fact, it is all of these things. I wasn’t sure if I had enough emotional reserves lately to handle another stunningly beautiful game, but it turns out I did. So, I’ll tell you what’s going on with Sable today. Let’s go!

This game is part of The Indie Houses event on Steam which has been featuring several indie games in development this past week. Today is the final day, and this concludes my series for the event.

Thanks also to Indie Game Collective, who has collaborated with The Indie Houses event for us.

Gameplay in Sable is Unique and Promising

Although it’s a league of its own, Sable’s intro is very familiar–mechanically at least. Ah yes, the ancient temple with scalable walls and tutorial obstacles. Yep, it is right off the bat heavily reminiscent of Breath of the Wild. It might be wise to consider this sort of thing a whole genre at this point. And yet, as I said, the 2D illustration mapped on a 3D world just looks so fresh and new.

The tutorial zone is an enclosed valley on an alien planet (I checked this.) It’s a desert-strewn village with some shamanistic/scrapper qualities. The interaction with characters has rich dialogue and several different options for conversing. You can just play it cool, you can ruffle feathers (a bit,) or you can be quite polite. NPCs in the village all emanate a kind of pleasant demeanor that was nice.

The entire game is based on your character, “Sable,” and her rite of passage for something called a “gliding.” From what I can gather, it seems your primary goal is to explore this tattered world filled with old spaceships and ancient relics and find things. As such, it’s incredibly beautiful of course. There are some amazing-looking areas, and any lingering BoW similarities are demarcated for Sable’s own unique open-world interpretations.

Open World Features in Sable

  • Explore the world at your own pace
  • Discover secrets and collectibles
  • Customize your bike and drive it (which is quite fun by the way)
  • Climb stuff – (This especially, you can scale just about anything!)
  • Explore as you like, glide around, and explore on foot
  • Solve puzzles if you like (it’s up to you)
  • Encounter other characters/nomads, and help them with tasks
  • “Original Soundtrack by Japanese Breakfast” (Indie music & indie games, awesome concept)

Interesting Aspects of Sable’s Invitation

Sable makes me feel like I’m in a real sci-fi world with authentic excavated wonders to unlock. I have always liked this type of game but I’m so happy there’s more now! The lack of top indies that do this coming to mind is understandable since it is a humongous undertaking to create an entire world like this. And the natural terrain, though illustrated, is highly realistic and detailed. I admired the patterns of the cliffs around the valley as I sputtered through from the village.

I think this one is going to be very highly regarded after release. If you follow the Steam link below you can wishlist it, the best thing to do is to support game devs of awesome games!

Off I Go

One last thing I want to mention. The music, from “Japanese Breakfast,” a very good indie band, sounds so amazing on the soundtrack for Sable. My internal critique was stamping approval over every aesthetic choice in Sable as I played it, and nonetheless the music.

I’ve included the steam link below. This was a special preview I was able to get for The Indie Houses, but there are videos and pictures there, so check it out.

Thank you so much for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. If you like what you read, please have a look around, and come back again! Thanks!

Glyph – Walk Like an Egyptian A Little to the Left

“Glyph” is a puzzle/platformer released this month. I was able to secure a copy through my friends at Indie Game Collective. I was curious about Glyph, primarily because of the smooth and colorful graphics, pretty apparently Egyptian theme, and also because, while I don’t excel at puzzle platformers, I am getting better. And naturally, I just wanted to test my skills at what seems to be an extremely feature-rich game. I made it peacefully through quite a bit of the intro in the recorded gameplay and learned enough to tell you about this interesting game. Take to the ground or sky, and propel into this post.

Thank you to Indie Game Collective and Bolverk Games.

Roll Like An Egyptian – Glyph Gameplay

Straight off the bat, I have to say one thing. Use a controller with this game. Yes, you can use a keyboard and mouse. The force feedback of my PlayStation controller on my PC enhances the game so much though. I could feel the ground rumble in my hands as I moved, and it was pretty enjoyable. If you don’t have a controller, no worries. More and more indies are incorporating them though, so it’s something to consider.

It’s pretty simple. You roll around and solve puzzles. What you learn after a few levels though, is this game has bonkers amounts of ways to move around to enhance that rolling. Double jump, glide (which looks so cool with the scarab wings upon your character,) stomp, propel through rings, climb walls. It is really really cool.

The game description boasts players can “dive, climb, roll, twist, crash, edge, skid, glide, sneak, scale, and corkscrew your way through an adventure with movement-based puzzles you can’t get anywhere else.” Goodness! I have no doubts after my initial session though. Where a lot of games probably call it quits after around 3-4 abilities, this one keeps them coming!

Skill

The tutorial is quite lengthy, and I want to bring this to you while it’s fresh in my mind, because my first impressions are perfectly tuned into this. I was amazed how far I was able to perform, because, I’m just an average player. When I’m playing a game, and the checkpoint is a little too far to make good use of time, I usually stop there. Unless I get a surge of motivation to go further. I went back for more a handful of times even for the first gameplay video.

Interaction with the environment just feels so right. It is responsive, and actually does what it tells you it does. I had sincere doubts about the wall climbing ability, but it felt really polished and I thought, I’m just a little ball rolling through obstacles, and I’m having a blast!

And if the challenge is what you’re looking for, it’s here. You will have to pay attention to what’s happening to respond accurately. Spatial recognition ability will help your chances, although I think the game was adapting to my personal deficiencies helpfully enough.

Aesthetics of Glyph

I liked the Egyptian aesthetic of the scarab and endless deserts in the tutorial. Maybe. Perhaps in that Stargate kind of way. My first impressions were corrected, sort of, when I started looking at later areas of the game. Design in Glyph adheres to a kind of esoterically inspired style.

The environment is conducive to sitting down, relaxing, and enjoying some peaceful puzzles. All the music and sound effects are softened to focus more on technique and less action, yet pitch-perfect in theme. But you’ll feel downright excited when you solve a difficult level tough!

The game runs for around $19.99 USD. If anything about it intrigues you, and you’ve got the coin, check this one out. You’re going to get a lot of value from it, and there’s plenty of rewards when it comes to using your brain to solve problems and actually succeeding.

This Concludes Master Glyph Theatre

I hope I gave you some things to think about when checking out Glyph. It’s available on PC as well as Nintendo Switch. So you’ve got options. I think this would feel pretty good on either platform.

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Thank you for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. I’ll see you again soon.