In the same vein as Limbo or Braid, Creaks presents its clever puzzle platforming in an atmosphere that really sucks the player in. Even though it tends to rely on the same solution to problems for a little too long in a row, these are at least presented in slightly altered fashions along the way.
From the off, Creaks engrosses us, with a opener that sets the scene via a simply disguised tutorial. There’s no voice over to speak of, but the expressive animation and music still manages to portray the mood and feelings of the characters well. Following a newly revealed tunnel in the wall of our apartment, we’re off to a bizarre, yet fascinating underworld where the monsters aren’t all they appear to be.
The puzzles themselves take a few forms, from pushing boxes to pulling levers, and manipulating enemy locations to further aid us in progressing. While the solutions broadly tend to repeat across puzzles, Amanita do at least mix the method up somewhat, each room adding in more enemies or switches to worry about.
Later areas add in a light mechanic, further showing off the weird goings on in this surreal setting, where the previously dangerous enemies can be turned into more…useful, harmless objects. Again, these ideas repeat often, but also add an extra layer of complexity to proceedings that I found enjoyable.
One aspect I did find great are the little musical cues that act as a helpful indicator of progress. Not just when we finish a puzzle completely, they very subtly kick in as we hit each significant step along the way. It’s nicely handled and is helpful without giving the solution away outright.
Along the way we meet several other characters that again are wordless, yet wonderfully expressive thanks to the animation. The art style is also excellent, with a hand drawn, almost sketchbook look to the world and characters. Add in some excellent music and it’s a combination that really captures the attention, and sucks us into the world.
Creaks is a bizarre, yet engaging, puzzle platformer that manages to play with its rule-set in clever – though also a little too repetitive – ways.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.