Review: Empty



Empty is a minimalist indie puzzle game, with a focus on spatial organization. The objective is to shift your perspective around a room to align objects within the space with the walls or larger objects of the same color. When you make an object disappear the wall you used will turn white. Some objects have rings with a color that is different than the object they are on, and once you make that object disappear the wall you used will become the same color as the rings. The focus is to try and simply find the right perspective on an object, but this can prove to be rather tricky, as the answer might be from a viewpoint that you really need to look for. This is by no means a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s good because it’s exactly what you’re supposed to do. The interesting thing about the game is how it deviates from most puzzle games involving three-dimensional space.



In most cases, the puzzle inhabits a room, and the room is simply there to serve the puzzle and whatever tweaks to it the developers decide to through into the formula. Here, however, the space is the puzzle; which means the whole space and the organization and design of it must receive careful consideration to solve it. The game’s premise actively encourages trying to look at an object from all perspectives to make an object disappear. It’s not merely a case of aligning objects with colors, though. The real challenge comes in some of the later levels when making an object disappear requires you to utilize multiple walls and objects and make them connect in your point of view to engulf the object in question. The other puzzle element the game implements is the sequencing. Every object must be solved at a different time to progress. If you solve one object against a wall then once the wall turns white you might have missed your chance to connect it or change its color in order to make multiple walls connect and engulf another object.  So not only is this a game that requires you to pay active attention to the layout of the space, but look at things from multiple perspectives, make priorities, and devise a plan. For a minimalist game, this is a lot of thinking and it’s brilliant that so much can come out of so little. I loved it, and though it sounds uninteresting from such a simple description there was never a moment where I wasn’t intrigued and engaged. There are only a few levels right now, but I want to see so much more and see what they could do with many more environment types. By all means, try this game.




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