by Camrin Santchi
reviewed on PC
A World Split
Puzzle games often require a good amount of thought and precision in order to complete them, making use of their specific mechanics in unusual and interesting ways that really make you think.
Mirrored Souls is a recent release with an unusual mechanic - namely, that the player takes control of two separate characters at once. Unlike other puzzle games where you might have multiple characters, gamers don't swap between Ravi and Daru, but move them both through the world at the same time, one on each side of the screen. All movement affects both characters, so players need to think about their movement in several different ways at the same time.
This mechanic allows for the puzzles to be quite intriguing in Mirrored Souls, with players having to get Ravi and Daru through the levels and to the arches at the end at the same time, as the levels won't be completed unless both rabbit-like beings are in place. Starting out simple, players will need to solve puzzles of increasing complexity that may have you desync the characters in order to make jumps, move boxes, avoid thorns, and more. This desync can often be done by finding a part of the level that either Ravi or Daru can be temporarily 'stuck' on, but every once in a while gamers will need to find a creative way to make everything work. Fortunately, there is a Reset button that can start the level over from the beginning in order to avoid being soft-locked by the puzzles.
The divided world of Mirrored Souls is beautifully illustrated, with either side of the screen having a specific coloration, creating a very soothing atmosphere that can very easily lull players. The music adds to this as well, making for a very relaxing experience while playing this game.
Along with the art and music, there are actual breaks throughout the game with levels that are similar to one from early on where Ravi and Daru have dialogue. This allows for a brief change of pace from the increasingly complex puzzles that allow the story to begin to unfold between the characters as well as the mysterious Moon. There aren't any voices for the characters, but text is often demonstrated with specific colors that dictate which of the characters is speaking at the time. Dialogue is progressed by pressing the same button as jumping, so players may need to keep an eye on their timing in these sections if they want to pay attention to the story itself.
One of the only issues with Mirrored Souls is the difficulty curve in regards to the puzzles. Often there will be minimal change in the complexity of the puzzles, only for them to suddenly ramp up in a rather dramatic fashion. This can feel a bit jarring to players, but it does make the 'break levels' feel like much more of a relief when you finally manage to make it to one.
That being said, sometimes players will stall on a certain level, when they introduce a new mechanic or the layout makes it hard to tell just what to do in order to get Ravi and Daru to the end. However, with the inclusion of a reset button and the ability to revisit past levels, gamers are more than able to take a brief moment of respite before coming back to their current challenge with a fresh thought process.
Become As One
In all, Mirrored Souls is a very solidly built puzzle game with an interesting mechanic and a very serene art style. The only real issue to be had is the difficulty curve, but the break levels can really help balance out the curve and make it so that players can really enjoy the journey of Ravi and Daru.
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Beautiful Art, Calming Music, Interesting Mechanics