Ynglet, a platformer without platforms, combines tight controls and excellent level design with incredible audio and visual feedback to create a truly memorable experience.
Posted by Nate on 6 June 2021 at 8:41AM
Balancing challenging platforming and gameplay that doesn't become overly frustrating is a difficult one. Maybe the answer all along was to remove the platforms! In Ynglet,The different elements of the game combine magnificently to create an immersive and beautiful experience.
There is a simple joy to the movement in Ynglet. You jump using your momentum between bubbles that support your form and the world reacts around you both audibly and visually. The weight and momentum are well measured and you always feel in control. Dashing into a particular bubble could make the screen explode with colour as abstract shapes, or a flower blossoming, with the audio reacting as well. The soundtrack is meticulously crafted to react to the actions of the player and it works incredibly well. In fact, it's one of the best implementations of this method I've experienced.
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The tight controls, the beautiful simple-yet-complex visuals, the audio, and the challenge all make Ynglet feel amazing to play. It's one of those games where you need to see it in motion. Screenshots cannot do it justice. Overall, the game isn't all that difficult, a few spikes here and there, but at no point did I feel any frustration. The check-pointing mechanic contributes to this. As long as you are in a standard bubble, you can remain motionless for a couple seconds and it sets that position as the checkpoint. There is also a quick restart so that in one of the few challenging sections, you can keep the momentum of progress going without disruptive interruptions.
For me, Ynglet isn't about the challenge. It's about the experience, and it's an incredible one. I finished the game within a couple hours, and immediately wished there were more levels. However, I found that when replaying some of the levels in order to get the remaining collectables I had missed, I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting them. There are four bonus levels, accessible from the main menu, that concentrate on challenge. At the time of writing, I have got through the first two and stuck on the third.
It's fun to theorize details regarding the setting. There are sections within levels that strongly resemble train lines and stations, and the level selection area is a top-down view of a city, which we are flying above. I like to think we are a creature soaring above this abstract city. After all, we are trying to rescue our friends after a meteor crashed into us.
The levels are varied to the degree that you are required to utilise a specific skill or method in each, highlighted by a short tutorial level immediately prior. Other than your basic movement, you have a single dash, which propels you a short distance in a chosen direction. There are numerous environmental interactions that need you to adapt your skill set, and this helps each level feel unique with a surprising amount of ways to modify and manipulate your basic movement. The overall structure is fairly simplistic. You get to the end of the level to unlock the next. There are routes diverging from the main path with collectables, think of them as fun little challenge sections.
I'm reminded of games like The Sun and Moon and The Floor is Jelly, platforming games that focus on a simple mechanic but twist and manipulate it along the way to create a focused and enjoyable experience. Ynglet is a really special game though. All the different aspects combine to create such a memorable and joyous experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
- Tight controls make the platforming a joy
- The game in motion looks fantastic
- Really nice visual design
- Outstanding dynamic soundtrack that reacts to the player's actions.