Quadrilateral Cowboy - Analysis
The strange mixture that the title brings is surprising. Simplicity abounds, we are facing an example of maximum functionality . Quadrilateral Cowboy is "realistic" in his own way. It does not have a high voltage graphic section, rather its sprites are generally "glued" on more or less flat surfaces, with colorful environments that use them to set the action to the point of feeling immersed in the environment. But the gaming experience shows that, in reality, the entire visual section is nothing more than a resource ; the game looks good, but "it doesn't matter" that it is also simple. Blocks are a means of bringing puzzles to us, and from that moment on everything becomes inventive.
And it is that in this title of Blendo Games we play a spy "armed" with a laptop - from the old days, neither smartphones , nor iPad nor Raspberry Pi here - who has to face puzzles that we can only solve by hacking, all wrapped in a certain cyberpunk aura. To do this we connect (eye, cable) our small computer to the wall outlets and start by giving simple orders. However, and this is the good thing, the game evolves , it becomes more twisted, more challenging. And it is in these puzzles that we notice that we are facing a highly satisfactory experience: we really feel capable and proud to pass the various tests that we are subjected to.
Our mission , eligible from the den where the characters store the stolen "treasures" - all of them of a computer nature such as hard drives - always goes through infiltrating buildings that have a high level of security, each one more complicated, and reaching the objective without being discovered and being able to solve all the challenges whose base is to do things in the correct order, giving the right command to the computer. And that is the moment when we realize that the real puzzle is not only the one that proposes us to open a door for a certain time, but to mount the appropriate commands as if it were a building, in order to get to a good port on our mission. But the most surprising thing is that these missions are carried out through a virtual reality device , that is, we "plan" the coup realistically. But we are not there.
It is not easy at first, and it is that the step of the introductory mission in which we assaulted a train until the possibility of making our own codes seems like a jump worthy of a mass relay of Mass Effect . But nothing further, with a little practice , we will immediately feel like masters of the situation, and we will focus on trying solutions to the challenges . At this point it would be interesting to note that, at all times, the commands are close to the actual commands given to a computer, and by this we mean that they are instructions given in English ; therefore, to assemble the different necessary codes, we will need to get used to the use of this particular system, which mixes words with numbers and parentheses, each one related to a content: a zone, a quantity of time and an effect. Players of that indie called Hack'n Slash know what we mean. Only this time, we will use the surveillance cameras, we will trick them (or we will turn off), we will open areas ...
And when we feel immersed and have taken a liking to the experience, the game is literally over. We are facing a title of about six hours long (a variable amount depending on the use of each player, how much he immerses himself or how much he is willing to "tinker" with the different commands). But it goes a long way, without a doubt. And we have not yet talked about the way in which the game becomes twisted fun; a mixture of "anger" and impotence: there are no control points, and the F3 button becomes our best ally. And it is because its function is to reset the mission (remember, we are in a simulation). Quadrilateral Cowboy invites us to use reason as well as memory, using a trial-and-error system that is both bearable and challenging. We have to get to the heart of the building ... but we also have to get out . And if it took you an hour to try and you half forget to leave the right things to hook the laptop to a socket and open the hatch on duty, it is there. Lie down and sweat .
The problem with a game with these characteristics is that, despite its attractiveness, once we have finished it, it is rare to feel attracted to it again, since we already know the solution to the challenges. Therefore, replayability is quite limited , being relegated to the biggest fans of the experience, which on the other hand, will not be lacking either. But depending on its difficulty, it could cause a certain "laziness". That is why not only more challenges are demanded, but more freedom. The missions have a way of doing, with certain commands, elements that require our attention and even memorize formulas, and do not leave there; they hardly leave room for experimentation , saving certain moments, such as the end of the adventure.
Focused once again on the technical aspect of the game, Quadrilateral Cowboy stands out for a mix of simplicity and good work , with areas where we find hundreds of details that alternate with longer empty areas . Make no mistake about our comparison with Minecraft: it is the characters that inspire the comparison, the game, although simple in polygons (if not lacking in them) does the formidable task of emulating reality with all its elements, and a number of sprites that stick on flat surfaces and, yes, very colorful. Even the lighting is specially cared for, giving rise to a quite significant difference between characters and environment that becomes attractive. It's not the best indie title visually, of course, but it plays in a separate league, and it's satisfying. The graphics engine allows you to play with the physics, and we will be able to grab objects, change them and throw them.
Sonoraly it is where it stays somewhat shorter, unfortunately. The sound effects are simple , the music is not memorable nor does it stand out, and only some details (such as the beeps or the noise of the keys) manage to reflect the experience with that 90s air as an enhancer.
So the question is, do you fancy some first person puzzles ? Use different gadgets with inventiveness and strategic vision? Live missions - in general, in virtual reality - of espionage? Go for it, because within its genre, it is a more than recommended exponent. Although it is to be seen how well the blocks fit into the scenes of an action movie ...