Four Sided Fantasy is a puzzle-platformer that focuses on screen-wrapping to navigate through different levels themed for each season. You begin by controlling a boy and are introduced to the controls by using the screen-wrap ability to reach a girl. These two characters become the center of the rest of the game. Every time you use the screen-wrap ability, you switch between the boy and girl. There are 10 levels across 6 worlds, as denoted by the achievements, to complete and each world changes the main use of the screen-wrap ability.
The screen-wrapping ability functions exactly as you’d expect, but this game allows you to choose when to use it. By using the left or right trigger, you can lock the screen in place and move the character around. If the left and right or top and bottom of the screen are open, you can exit one side and return on the other. Later levels incorporate depth of field into this mechanic. This can be used an unlimited amount of times, unless you’re an achievement hunter, to make progress. There is no time limit, so patience is key.
Here’s what I liked:
Multiple puzzle solutions — Many of the puzzles can be overcome in more than one way. You can use the ceiling of an area as the floor when you screen-wrap vertically, you can lock the screen in place mid-jump or mid-fall to reach greater heights, and you can combine horizontal and vertical screen-wrapping to move forward faster and in fewer wraps. As mentioned, you can wrap as many times as you want but some solutions use two wraps, and others use much more. The controls and concept of screen-wrapping are quickly understood, allowing you to discover the most efficient or the most entertaining ways to beat the game.
Changing mechanics — With each new world comes a new mechanic added to the screen-wrap ability; these include depth of field, inverted gravity, dual screen and a few more. Each world is beaten fairly quickly once you get the hang of the controls, so these new additions are used to insert challenges and add variety. After the main game, there is a New Game+ mode that has one notable change across the entire game: using the screen-wrap ability no longer locks the screen in place. This adds a little more replayability to the game.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
Quick to beat — This is a short game. I completed the main game in under two hours. There are new challenges added in, but they aren’t enough to extend the play time. There aren’t any collectibles, and most of the achievements unlock by just beating the game. New Game+ has you play through the whole game again with the one difference I described above; but in my experience, there’s not any more of a challenge. In fact, this change made some of the levels even easier.
Changing mechanics — This is not a typo. While the changing mechanics added a new challenge into the game, they also diminished the flow. Rather than adding new mechanics into each world on top of the existing ones, they simply replaced those found in the previous world. For example, one world introduced inverted gravity when screen-wrapping only for it to disappear by the next world. I understand that every one of these abilities cannot just stack together, but they certainly could be used in combinations or even be used in more than one world. This could allow for more levels or a greater difficulty.
Four Sided Fantasy is a visually appealing game with low replayability. Its screen-wrap mechanic is a fun idea and works well, but it needs to be fleshed out to add more complex puzzles. I also experienced a few glitches as I progressed further into the game that forced me to quit the level and start it over. This game is a quick and easy Gamerscore booster, but needs some work to make it stand out. If the puzzles and mechanics were as creative and polished as the artwork, this might be worthwhile.
Score: Limited Appeal
Four Sided Fantasy was developed by Ludo Land and published by Serenity Forge on Xbox One. It released on March 30, 2017 for $9.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.