Indie Gems: Influx Rolls On Peacefully
Indie Gems is an ongoing feature in which we highlight indie games that are worth your time and attention. Think of this as your weekly Indie Game Playlist.
Sometimes it’s nice to simply explore a finely-detailed world without violence or danger, and Influx understands that.
In Influx, you play as a ball that rolls – no jumping here – and does two simple actions: attract and repel. You must use these actions, and your own natural curiosity, to move through the countryside and solve puzzles in surreal glass houses. It’s a simple concept, but it’s so lush and relaxing that there’s a lot to love.
Developer: Impromptu Games
Influx relies primarily on physics manipulation – specifically, the aforementioned attract/repel mechanics – to solve puzzles. Move a ball into position over a ramp, for example, and then press a switch to rotate the level so the ball falls onto the ramp and rolls away. While the puzzles gradually get more convoluted and confusing, they always revolve around dragging physics objects into different positions in order to convey a “key” object from one spot to another.
Above all else, though, Influx is a very good-looking game. Outdoor environments are suitably lush and detailed, with an emphasis on building a haunting, quiet mood through the terrain and foliage. The indoor environments are clean and simple, with an emphasis on laboratory-like sterility to make puzzles easier to understand. The power of Unreal Engine may not be taxed, but it’s certainly put to great use, and the combination of peaceful environments – the only action scene in Influx is the starting crash to Earth, after all – and a quiet soundtrack is lulling.