hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Picking up houses and riding butterflies in SCALE

11:00 AM on 09.23.2013 // Darren Nakamura
  @Dexter345

Giving a new meaning to the phrase 'scale up a mountain'

Aside from the conversation that Jonathan had with developer Steve Swink, we haven't done much to cover SCALE. Fortunately, the Phoenix area indie game developer group Game CoLab put together an event at the Phoenix Art Museum this past weekend, and the ingenious first-person puzzle platformer was one of the highlights.

That description of Scale may invoke thoughts of Portal or Quantum Conundrum, and those comparisons wouldn't be completely off base, but after some time with the game, I couldn't shake the feeling that it is more like Super Mario 64 than anything else. At least, it's like Super Mario 64, except you have a gun that can grow and shrink objects in the environment at will.

The centerpiece of SCALE is its scale gun, which has the ability to manipulate nearby objects by increasing or decreasing their sizes. The brief tutorial of the demo takes place in a dingy stone building, and introduces the concept with a pressure plate and a handful of weights that need to be placed on top of it in order to continue. The weights themselves are too heavy to carry, so they must first be scaled down to a more manageable size. Once they are stacked on top of the pressure plate, they must then be scaled up in order to provide enough weight to activate it.

Once the basic idea of using the scale gun to grow and shrink things has been shown, the player enters a courtyard with a single flower in it. After standing on top of the flower and scaling it up to the size of a nearby wall, the rest of the area is revealed, more colorful and inviting than the tutorial dungeon. Objectives are also provided: find and collect the silver dodecahedra called particles hidden around the environment with only a few words as hints to where (and more importantly, how) a particle can be found and collected.

This is where SCALE starts to feel like Super Mario 64. Players are placed into an environment that can be explored freely, with all of the particles available to be found at once, but one is highlighted by the hint and starting position. For instance, one of the particles requires the player to stand on an angled column and scale it up quickly such that it launches him across a gap filled with spikes and onto a platform containing the desired particle. However, instead of doing that, the player could scale the spikes down to where they are not a threat, walk on the platform where they were, and find a different particle hidden down there.

Other particles would be much more difficult to find without the hint given at the start of each outing. One such hint said something to the effect of "Inside the treasure chest," and without it, I wouldn't have spent as much time wracking my brain trying to find a way to open it. After giving up and impaling myself on some spikes, I watched another player discover the solution: set the chest on its back, stand on top of it, scale it up to the size of a house, and then jump down through the keyhole into it.

Another delightful moment began with the hint "House-ception." The level starts with a toy house in front of the player and not much else. After scaling the house up to normal proportions and entering it, another toy house can be found inside of it. By taking that house outside and scaling it up, the player finally finds a chest locked by a pressure plate. With nothing else to weigh the plate down, the first house must be scaled back down and brought into the second, making the particle available for collection.

Even in the short amount of time I was able to spend with it, there were several more memorable moments in SCALE. The idea itself is unique, and if it continues to deliver new ways to play with the central mechanic throughout the experience, it could end up being a truly great puzzle platformer.



Darren Nakamura, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Dexter345 Tips
Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strateg... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Everyone right now is playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. And here I am, waiting for Super Mario Maker to come out. And also Star Fox Zero.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Patrick Hancock hates babies. Rick and Morty.... I wish I could view thee second season. I need to play MGSV. I spray farted earlier.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
my wife and i got into Rick and Morty the same time we got into Gravity Falls. Man, some good cartoons out right now.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Rick and Morty is like reverse Archer. Instead of everyone being insanely quick-witted, everyone stutters, pauses and repeats themselves a lot.
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Drew a preeeeeeety sweet thing for the August edition of Cblog Recaps. Keep an eye out for it!
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
No spoilers or anything, but the MGS V troll is amazing. I went from concerned to laughter in a matter of minutes.
VeryImportantQuestion avatarVeryImportantQuestion
Not saying that the "augment your pre-order" announcement caused me to fall ill, but the timing seems like too much of a coincidence.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
Costco. 3 pack 18" dolls First order trooper, tie pilot, vader or Kylo for final one, I forget 44.99 September 4th, son.
epmpt avatarepmpt
Contact address: El Paso Manual Physical Therapy, 12135 Esther Lama Dr., Suite 1100, El Paso, TX 79936, Phone: (915) 252-5012, Email: [email protected]
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Stealth in Payday 2 gets infinitely easier once you get the Control Freak perk.
Dinosir avatarDinosir
Why is there a 500mb day 1 update for mgs V?! Yay modern day video games.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
What would you say are the worst/dumbest/stupidest/most useless job or class in an RPG?
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Could you stop calling Metal Gear Solid V Kojima's "swan song?" He's not retired, for crying out loud.
extatix avatarextatix
Seems rather excessive for a 3ds game. (3ds xl for scale) [img]http://i.imgur.com/DwOtP0s.jpg?1[/img]
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Tried the stealth approach for awhile, time to switch things up. *plants C4 everywhere* I'll probably toss one on the poor schmuck that delivers my copy of MGS V. For taking so long.
WryGuy avatarWryGuy
Just a quick update for folks. Phil/Mike Martin is off the streets and safe for the next month. Thanks to everyone who helped out. You can keep up to on the forums: http://www.outerheavenforums.com/showthread.php?41974-The-Save-a-Phil-Foundation
Script avatarScript
Watching Twin Peaks for the first time. Just yooou... aaaand IIII...
Perro avatarPerro
So the 3DS Dragon Quest VII remake is coming to mobile in Japan, so there's a chance that version will get ported over here. Not ideal but if we get it at all I'll be happy!
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
I'm just waiting for "Mad Max: U Mad, Bro?"
gajknight avatargajknight
Put down the deposit for my new car, will probably be able to pick it up on the weekend. Insurance is pretty good too, sub £1000 which is excellent. Kinda. My mum tried to reverse in 5th gear. She drives an automatic. What a noob. :P
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Scale


  Nov 12

SCALE reaches its funding goal with days to spare

Funding still has room to grow for stretch goals


  Oct 17

SCALE hopes to grow funds through Kickstarter

Honey, I shrunk the personal videogame development cost


  Sep 30

Arizona indie game developers show off their stuff

Valley of the Sun? More like Valley of the Fun, right?


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -