I never shy away from that I like to use my brain for finishing a game. While there is just as much of a merit in having your instincts and reflexes tested or becoming indulged in a world by its atmosphere alone, I like that my mind gets stimulated. Be it through a deep story, intriguing mechanics, good strategies being required or in this case; solid puzzles. This is why I wanted to check out Sander Ambroos’s Sizeable; a title I was uncertain what really was about, but was too mesmerised by its trailer alone to not check out.
Creative scavenger hunt
This puzzler has quite the unique concept. In every stage, you are presented with a small diorama where the goal is to find three pillars hidden around in each of them. You do this by moving the camera around to scan the areas, as well as picking up objects, placing them anywhere you want to, and generally interact with anything through the click of a button. Although, the most important mechanic you have is the ability to increase and decrease elements in the environments, affecting the different worlds in interesting ways. You can alter the water’s altitude by changing the size of the moon, make snowballs big or small in order to build a snowman, and much more that adds to the imaginative puzzles the levels offer.
Each stage is set in different locations with a clever setup to each, such as a surreal golf course, deep into the ocean or within a small forest made for camping. There is a lot to unwrap and take into consideration, but everything you have to do in order to proceed is presented through subtle hints. There is never a feeling of being completely lost, especially thanks to the small icons in the upper corner giving you visual clues on what to do. It also helps that this game is simple to control, with all of the actions being possible to perform through the mouse alone, like a traditional point-and-click.
There are 21 stages in the main campaign to venture through and all are fantastic in visually hinting you on what to do, while still offering nice and inventive puzzles to take on. What is a bit of a shame, is how fast they will all fly by due to the game’s difficulty. Every stage is easily beatable within a couple of minutes (if not less) and the entire playthrough can be finished in under an hour. Still, this does not change what a creative and exciting time Sizeable offers. Thanks to its imaginative setup and diverse puzzles, this title is sure to please anyone who wants an engaging brain-teaser.
Gameplay Score: 8/10
The most impressive part about this whole package, is the variety it contains. There is never a reused location, with the diversity bringing you to an ancient temple, a spooky mansion, and even outer space to name a few, giving you always a fresh and intriguing sight to behold. This comes together through a minimalistic style that adds into making everything distinct and calming, with a heavy focus on colours. Somewhat a simplistic take on expressionism, with the dioramas reminiscing of traditional toys. This makes every area fascinating, while keeping the style relaxing and easy on the eyes.
With how the visuals contain variety in its simplicity, it is bizarre that the music is a strange yet fitting contrast to this. The tracks have similar structure and tone to each other, being calm and emotional by utilising unique instruments in each piece, such as a piano or a trumpet. The music is never fitting thematically to the locations, but every track focuses on calming the player down and are lovely to listen to. The melodies even evolve with more instruments and highlighted notes being added in, while letting the sound effects strengthen the atmosphere, like sparks jumping from a fire pit or the ocean containing bubbles popping. An impressive stylistic presentation that is truly a piece of art.
Presentation Score: 9.5/10
As of this review, there has already been added in more levels by the developers for free, with all of them being fantastic. Besides this, each stage hides a cute little turtle for you to find, giving you more reasons to explore the environments and take in the details of the dioramas even further. They do not do much else beside providing a neat reward, but are adorable creatures that are different from each other, making it hard to say no to hunting them down.
Extra Score: 7.5/10
I am surprised by how much I ended up loving this experience. Sizeable is an unique take on the puzzle genre that presents an intriguing mechanic through stages that are always imaginative. Combine this with fantastic variety in locations and a calming soundtrack, it is easy for anyone to enjoy this puzzler. It might not be the most challenging one, but it is sure to stimulate your creative thinking and then some.