Indie game review: “And Yet it Moves”

Sometimes we all need a moment of Zen. We need to just take a deep breath, relax and do nothing. However, that’s kind of hard to do when you have a thousand things to do and twice that many games in your Someday-I-Will-Play-These-Games-Really-I-Will-Get-To-Them-Soon-I-Promise list.

Luckily for you, me and everyone else whose life is spiraling out of control, there’s a game that will let you experience a little bit of Zen while you check a great game off of your To-Play list.

And Yet It Moves is a game that came out in 2009 from Vienna-based indie developer Broken Rules. In it, you puzzle and platform your way through a 2-D world that looks like it is made out of torn up pictures from a magazine. Your objective in the game, you control a paper cutout character (who has what I believe are dreadlocks, or maybe he just has a sea anemone on his head) and try to avoid the obstacles that are thrown at you as you wander through the collage-like landscape.

The key mechanic in the game is the fact that you can rotate the world around you in addition to being able to move anemone-hair left and right (plus jump). This turns simple jumping from platform to platform into a real test of coordination, since you often have to move your character with one hand and rotate the world with the other. It’s really hypnotizing; in fact I once found myself just sitting and spinning the world for a full minute before I realized that I was actually trying to get to a ledge above me.

As you progress, the environment gets increasingly strange, as though your character is walking through some kind of dream world. You start in a rocky environment, move to a jungle and eventually reach what I think is a marble maze. There is much more, but I’ll let you discover it for yourself.

Despite its surreal quality, the game keeps an air of calm and serenity about it, as does the nameless character you control. No matter how many times you miss a jump and accidentally shred his paper body, he always reappears and calmly continues on his journey. I wish I had anemone-hair’s composure.

The bizarre yet ambient music in the game reinforces the tranquil tone of the game. It’s probably not something you’re going to be jamming to as you lift weights or blast as you drive down the freeway with the top down, but it would be perfect for listening to during yoga or perhaps while trimming a Bonsai tree.

And Yet It Moves is a beautiful moment of gaming Zen which I highly recommend. It doesn’t make you want to rage-quit or smash your computer. It simply takes you out of your high-speed, high-stress world for a brief moment and plunges you into a serene place where all you have to worry about is platforms and the rotation of the world.

Plus, it’s available for not only Windows but for Mac and Linux as well.

You can find it on Steam, or on the website: