Review: 6180 the moon

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It’s easy to find no-effort platformers made from basic shapes, looking like a video game made by a five-year-old with refrigerator magnets. A simple aesthetic isn’t the last word in quality, but the danger here is that the challenges presented might have about as much thought put into them as the presentation. 6180 the moon may give that impression at first glance, but it turned out far more clever and engrossing than I expected.

moon1

You play the moon, on a quest to find its eternal buddy the sun. This journey takes you across fifty levels divided into five regions of the solar system, broken up by adorable little cutscenes with other heavenly bodies. The game’s gimmick is that the screen wraps around the top, so if you plunge off the bottom you’ll drop back in above. That means no bottomless pits to worry about, but the numerous spikes are more than happy to take their place for ruining your day. Your jump sends you a full screen height and change so there’s nowhere on the screen that’s unreachable, giving you very pleasant freedom of movement.

Level gimmicks include spikes, moving platforms, breakaway blocks, spikes, switches and gates, spikes, and a few other not-spike features. Once you wrap your brain around wrapping around the screen the game goes quite smoothly, and you’ll likely complete your sojourn to the sun in 30-40 minutes. This unlocks a new mode where you play through the levels in reverse, with gravity flipped, and this one little change blew my mind. The vast majority of the levels are completely unchanged, but become far move difficult because of their genius dual design. Playing through the first time was a subdued, relaxing experience, but playing through the second was a distinct pleasure.

moon2

The whole game will take you just over an hour to complete, and there are no additional modes or corner-case achievements to chase so it’ll all be over before you know it. But the clever puzzles are truly a delight, accompanied with an excellent piano soundtrack and the aforementioned cutscenes that just ooze charm. It’s a bite-sized puzzle platformer, but you’re sure to relish it more than a lot of larger offerings.

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