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Game Review: Closure

For: Playstation 3 (via Playstation Network)

From: Eyebrow Interactive

ESRB Rating: Everyone (mild fantasy violence)

Price: $15

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If it's in the dark, it doesn't exist in "Closure," a deviously clever 2D sidescroller that once again proves all the brilliant ideas for rethinking 2D games aren't yet taken.

In "Closure," the vast majority of a level exists in complete blackness, and anything that exists in blackness doesn't exist at all. The object is to employ the available light sources - some static, some maneuverable like adjustable floodlights, some you can push around or carry with you - to design a tenable path to the exit. If the path in front of you is entirely blackened, you need to illuminate it, lest you fall into a bottomless pit of nothingness. And if walls block the exit from all sides, you must suppress the light to make one of those walls disappear. Sounds easy, right? Sure.

But "Closure's" method of terrain manipulation represents an abstract new way to get from A to B, and success frequently entails disobeying age-old 2D gaming truths and forcing yourself to think along dramatically different new lines. Naturally, just as the new normal settles in, "Closure's" 80-plus levels grow increasingly labyrinthine, with multi-level cause-and-effect puzzles, moving parts you can and cannot control, and keys and other objects you must protect from the abyss while also watching your own step.

Fortunately, wicked though "Closure" can get, the process of conquering it is aggravation-free. There's no timer rushing you along, and if you fall or have to reset the level, it restarts immediately without fuss. The pleasant demeanor extends to the visual presentation, which resembles a black-and-white woodcut illustration come charmingly alive. Monochromatic games are en vogue right now, but "Closure's" stab at it is a fresh departure from its dour counterparts.

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