ULTRA-INDIE Daily: Fragments of Euclid is Exquisite

Hello, you glorious gluttons for all things indie horror! Are you just starving for the newest of the new, the most unknownest of the unknown? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the Ultra-Indie Daily Dose! In this series, we’re going to pick a new game every day from an indie horror creator you’ve probably never heard of. No million-dollar budgets or factory productions. This is the space for the little guy with not but a developer toolkit and a dream. So if you’re down to roll the dice on something different, then stick around and check it out!

Fragments of Euclid is the type of game I rarely come across. It’s a Non-euclidian puzzle game created by Antoine Zanuttini or @nusan inspired by M.C. Escher ,one of the most well-known artists behind the famous drawing Relativity and the impossible orientation of stairs and inhabitants running along the walls and ceilings. It’s surprisingly well made and ambitiously pursues an exploration of spatial visualization without fearing the hesitations of the audience.

The staple of 3D puzzle games is that of the clean white room with a start and finish. The players must reach the finish position by solving an ever elaborating web of switches and gates placed in their way. In Portal, by Valve, there was the narrative theme of a subject being contained within a test chamber which gave the designers a template to help guide players through challenges. The sterilized environments allowed players to easily identify and track puzzle parts through their colors and shapes.

What’s quite present when Fragments of Euclid begins is the visual art style. The beginning room notably captioned ‘Relativity’ is just like the artwork it’s drawn inspiration from with lights and darks rendered with a scratchy pen-marks shader. The gateways that lead out of the room quickly had me spun around as they led back into that same room only from a different opening and orientation. Some indie games are more barebones but this one had implemented settings and one of them is an option to disable or swap the sketchmark shader for an ISO noise effect. I opted in as I found the visual noise compounded with the spatial complexities was overwhelming.

That’s to the strength of Fragments of Euclid, a game like Portals was a starting off point for games that use portals and super geometrical space for players to shimmer between, this game pushes the boundary of player and human abilities. Many times I could not maintain a logical track of each door and pathway in a room but I was able to feel my way through it. Solving puzzles became less about my ability to comprehend the entire puzzle but assembling a sequence of immediate cause-and-effects.

An example that doesn’t spoil is that of a mirror maze where every portal is a loop back towards the beginning except one, what made it so difficult is when the portals compounded so that every direction seemed to extend endlessly back to the start. My solution to this problem was not to understand how each room was the same room but with the entrance rotated but rather to simply narrow my vision and proceed in a direction that had details amiss.

In a game about working through space, it’s an exciting way to proceed. Instead of requiring the human mind to understand something that’s completely unnatural to our brain’s development the puzzles are designed to explore atypical space through interactions we are familiar with.

Fragments of Euclid is on Itch.io and if you enjoy the experience as much as I do you can support the creator for its continued development.

For more exciting titles from the Indie scene check out more Dread XP Ultra-Indies.