See/saw takes all of those super-difficult 2D platform games like N++ and Super Meat Boy and sands them back even further.
You though those games were already lean and simple, didn't you? But they devote a whole button to jumping. How decadent!
See/saw embeds jump pads into the levels themselves. It's all about the brutal cuts.
I need direction
All you need to worry about from a control perspective is left and right. Tap on either side of the screen, and your armless stick-man will scamper off in that direction.
Then it’s just a matter of grabbing all three of the dots that are scattered around whichever compact torture chamber is posing as the current level.
Don’t let See/saw’s streamlined nature fool you. It’s every bit as exacting as its key sources of inspiration. One false move and you’ll impale yourself on a set of spikes or straddle a buzz-saw.
There’s plenty of skill to go around too. In the absence of the need to time a button press for jumping, all of the onus is on momentum.
You might want to take a few steps back to get a proper run-up if you want to clear that gap. Only a few steps mind, and you’ll need to stop pressing the direction a little earlier than you might like, lest you slice your head open on those ceiling spikes.
See/saw adds a few other smart-but-subtle elements to the mix. While the levels are simple, they often form macro-puzzles centred around course-plotting and prioritisation. The order in which you scoop up those dots needs to be thought through.
Don’t take too much time over it though. There’s a bonus for speed.
The other neat element at play here is that you often have to kill yourself to snag the final dot. It’s quite legitimate for your broken body to flop into this last collectible and win you the round. It all lends to the game’s dark yet simultaneously breezy humour.
You might be enduring repeated gruesome deaths, but the levels are colourful and achingly stylish. This is a beautiful game in its own right - just check out that branching level-select screen.
Perhaps my favourite little touch in a game that’s packed full of them is See/saw’s restart command. Just swipe down on the screen to instantly have another crack at the current level. It’s fast, seamless, elegant, and it gets brutally to the point with minimal fuss.
Rather like See/saw as a whole, in fact.