Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Review: Closure

5:00 PM on 04.03.2012 // Allistair Pinsof

Like Braid, Closure is a game I compulsively played while gnashing my teeth, only to regret that I didn’t take my time and savor the brilliant puzzles while they lasted.

Call it a cliché, but it’d be in bad critical taste not to bring up that indie heavyweight when evaluating puzzle platformers. It’s the benchmark of the genre, one that games like Limbo and P.B. Winterbottom have come close to meeting but can never quite stand shoulder-to-shoulder with.

Closure isn't exactly a revolution, but its ingenious concept and smart design make it more than a tribute to the indie puzzle gods. It is an early effort from a developer who may one day stand up there with the rest, being rained upon by Kickstarter cash, Gamasutra interviews, and gorgeous Norwegian models whom Notch passed on.

Closure (PlayStation Network)
Developer: Eyebrow Interactive
Publisher: Eyebrow Interactive
Released: March 27, 2012
MSRP: $14.99

In Closure, darkness is both your enemy and your friend. Within your control, it can give you access to a key, a new path, and a new level. When out of your control, it symbolizes the same thing it does in every other platformer: a drop to your death. Figuring how you get control of it and what to do with it once you have it is what Closure is all about.

Like Super Meat Boy, Closure can be traced back to a much simpler Flash game experiment (released in 2009). Since then, creator Tyler Glaiel has expanded on the game’s basic principles, reworked all aspects of its design, and provided a better puzzle experience that is four times longer than the original and, at least, three times as good. In both good and bad ways, Closure still feels like a game designed by three guys.

Over the years, Glaiel has been redesigning the game around player feedback from various gaming trade shows. I can attest that the final build is much different from the one at Fantastic Arcade, which was only a scant six months ago! While that build felt a bit too easy, the final one feels damn near perfect in its gradual rise in difficulty and introduction of ideas.

The game starts off with an elegant tutorial that immediately immerses you in its dark, surreal world. Christopher Ryne’s haunting yet hummable score and Jon Schubbe’s artwork, which feels like it came from a chasm between Jhonen Vasquez and David Lynch, create a wonderful sense of immersion through well-guided minimalism. Limbo comparisons will be inevitable, but in this case the absence of color serves the gameplay much better and never bothered me visually -- if only because art assets within the stages and worlds felt different enough throughout the game.

Closure is always a game about finding the exit to a small stage. It starts with standing on a platform lit by a lamp far above and seeing a door, far away, lit up as well. How do you get there? You pick up the light source on the ground and walk toward it. Walk without it, and you fall to your death. Soon enough, you are repositioning spotlights, placing light orbs in moving receptacles, and continually solving puzzles in new ways. It’s amazing that even by the game’s end, I never felt like I came across the same puzzle twice. Everything here is fresh, exciting, and interesting.

I can only imagine how complex it is to design one of these puzzles. Yet playing the game is very intuitive. I fear that describing it in words will only confuse people, since so much only becomes clear when played. For instance, gauging jumps and using light sources to create a makeshift platform can only be described in vague language. With a controller in your hand, you’ll soon understand how these things work, and that’s part of what makes Closure such a brilliant puzzle game.

Glaiel has a clear knack for designing puzzles that make you feel clever, but never so much so that you race through the game -- upon completing a tricky puzzle, I always had the feeling that I somehow cheated the game. When it comes to platforming, however, Glaiel’s design skills prove to be lacking. Thankfully, this never becomes much of an issue in Closure due to the design of the puzzle rooms. However, there are a few occasions where the game demands intensive platforming, and the loose controls can become very frustrating in these instances.

Puzzle games require perfect design, and, after playing a game like Portal 2, it's hard not to have high expectations. More than any other genre, puzzle games require player certainty. So when I couldn’t pull a box in Closure or prevent the camera from zooming in, I got frustrated. There were many times when the game’s wonky physics and troublesome platforming prevented me from completing a level, despite having the solution in my hands. Then there were times where I wasn't certain I was approaching a puzzle correctly, because the physics almost made it seem possible. In these moments, Closure’s roots as an amateur Flash game become transparent.

The expansions to Closure since its Flash debut are numerous. The game is now divided into four worlds that each have their own protagonist, setting, soundtrack, and puzzle mechanics. Rather than going through a progression, you have access to each world except the final one from the outset. This makes the pacing much more relaxed and enjoyable. The first time I hit a wall in my world-one progress, I jumped into world two until I completed it. Since each world has its own devices and obstacles, you don’t necessarily need to perfect one to move on.

In addition to completing the game’s 82 stages, you can collect optional silver moths throughout the game. However, the only way to know if one is present is if you hear it -- a sound loop of a cymbal being struck -- within the darkness of a stage. There are only 30 in Closure, so it’s a bit of a crapshoot when you are trying to find them after completing the game. The developer told me that the game will indicate which levels have them once you obtain half, but I don’t understand why that isn’t a feature from the beginning. Furthermore, I take issue with the fact that you only get a lame, inconclusive ending without collecting them all.

Closure’s faults can’t prevent it from, at times, reaching some of the greatest heights in the puzzle-platforming genre. Once you get to the final ten stages, you are in pure puzzle-platforming bliss. Or hell. I suppose, bliss, then hell, then bliss again.

But that’s the fun of a game like this: it demands that you be smarter than you thought you were an hour ago, and it leaves you feeling like you really accomplished something great by its end.



Closure - Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, 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 * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 1

Thankful it's Over: Bioshock Infinite

Is Toei using Kamen Rider Ghost to address suicide in Japan?

Let's talk about Xenoblade Chronicles

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
Lawman avatarLawman
Listening to this on a Tall Oaks level of RE: Revelations 2's Raid Mode is entrancing, for some reason.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Need a reason to support Indivisible? Shantae is in it!. Back it or spread the word, every bit of help counts.
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Sometimes I miss how hilariously janky Brawl was, and I still have a lot of fun playing it. Not sure if I could ever take it seriously as a competitive game, but I want to enter at least one Brawl tournament in the future. You know, if I can find one.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I love how on a slow news day I can always turn to Qposts for something else to read and think about. Keep up the mojo fellas!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I finally caved in to those sweet deals, got Shantae and The Pirate's Curse, Downwell and Super House of Dead Ninjas :)
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I hope that Prototype runs better on my dad's old laptop than it does on my AMD gaming rig. Some badly coded games run like ass on AMD cards.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Please spare me from issues in the process of publishing my blog! Especially since I modified CSS to unnecessarily pseudo-crop an image, and make it so some images float next to text, and make it look decent on mobile. I'm a frickin' nerd, love it.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
The night brims with defiled scum, and is permeated by their rotten stench. Just think, now you're all set to hunt and kill to your heart's content! #FashionBorne [img][/img]
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Two more days to get in on the unofficial Christmas Card! [Url][/URL]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django has got a mystery sale on T Shirts and Tank Tops atm, $5 for each. Only catch is they're random. But I've had some good luck, got a Captain Falcon one before, Zombies ate my Neighbors and a Persona 4 X Earthbound crossover.
more quickposts



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 -