It isn’t often I feel utterly compelled to complete a game in a single sitting on the day I buy it. Ynglet made me do just that. It is a platform game without any platforms in it. It looks like a moving felt tip drawing having a party. It plays like a dream. Ynglet is my favourite indie platformer of 2021.
You control a strange space dolphin that looks like the creature from FlOw (ThatGameCompany) who can move and boost forward. You can’t jump though and this is key because instead of platforms, you’ll be moving across distorted bubbles of matter. Gravity is still a thing so you’ll be flopping around dropping from one blob to the next or boosting across gaps to your next landing point.
In many ways, Ynglet felt like playing an artistic pinball machine. Blue walls bounce you about and you can boost into red walls to ricochet off them for height and distance. Doing so replenishes your boost so it’s the way to climb up levels. Most of the levels have this in mind and add in train stations that look and sound like disco ziplines. When you hit the station it’ll grab and drag you around the line and spit you out the end of it. All these elements work in tandem to increase the difficulty of the game over its roughly 90-minute runtime.
There are several reasons I found Ynglet utterly engrossing. Firstly, the game looks charming and beautiful. The art used blossoms and blooms differently every level as you move through the blobs. Some bloom flowers or ink art others are more musical or electric. All of them are lovely. Whilst this happens musical motifs kick off as you interact with each level piece. It might be a bass note, a synth zap, a drum roll or cymbal tish. Ynglet goes out of its way to provide you with tons of player feedback to everything you do.
Secondly, the game is really customisable. Difficulty can be tuned over multiple options to allow you to course-correct yourself in flight or make gravity weaker so you have more time to choose your next move mid-air. I love how checkpoints are handled too. Every single standard blob of matter can be a checkpoint. Just sit on it for two seconds and a pink marker pen draws around it and if you fall off the level – which happens often – you respawn there again. This makes mistakes lightly punished even on challenging mode.
Lastly, the game’s levels all have a fluidity to them. The game plays gracefully and lining up move after move gives you a real sense of achievement and glee. This is because of everything mentioned above working in tandem to wow the player over the finish.
I was curious about the game initially as a quirky platformer with music generation elements but I had no idea that I was playing a space pinball disco water slide game. It is full of joy, colour and sound that became addictive and fun to play and it is one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in 2021. Easily. Buy it.
One of the finest artistic platform games I've played in years. All I want is more of it please.
Fluid in motion and feel.
Provides sensory feedback to everything you do.
Feels fresh and unique whilst being intuitive.
Looks and sounds beautiful.
Extremely detailed difficulty options lets you customise how you experience the game.
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