Review – The Pedestrian

Puzzle games are a dime a dozen these days, so it takes either a truly original idea or creative gameplay to make a puzzle title stand out. The Talos Principle, Baba is You, 7th Sector, and Portal are all notable examples of successful and memorable puzzle games. So does The Pedestrian from Skookum Arts walk the line of brilliance or will it be another to fall into obscurity? Let’s inspect the signs and find out.

The Pedestrian

Don’t get too excited; this is a a solution to an early puzzle. They get much more difficult later on.

The premise of The Pedestrian is pretty basic. You play as a character on a street sign that is making your way across all other signs throughout the city. There’s no deeper narrative here, just a simple idea that serves as an interesting new concept for a puzzle platforming game.

The gameplay is mostly your standard platformer fare. You can walk, jump, climb ladders, pick up keys to open locked doors, etc. However, The Pedestrian is a little different when it comes to solving puzzles. Along with the normal platforming aspects, each level also requires you to think outside the box when it comes to how to get from point A to point B. You’ll need to think strategically about how to get each door, ladder, or platform to line up in a way that your character can make it across without breaking its rules.

The Pedestrian

The basic gameplay mechanics are demonstrated through rudimentary cartoons on TVs.

For example, many of the signs will require you to rearrange them in such a way that you can connect certain things within each sign to another sign so you can cross from one to another. However, if you move a sign you’re in to another position or sever a tie to another sign while you’re inside one, this will mean instant defeat and you’ll have to start over. Thankfully, the respawning is instantaneous so you’ll never have to wait before trying it again. There are no loading screens between levels either, which makes the entire game a seamless adventure.

The Pedestrian

The 2D level focus against 3D backdrops is genius.

The look of The Pedestrian is what stands out the most. It’s considered a 2.5D platformer, so the character you control is in 2D, while the rest of the world in 3D. The 2D signs provide a pleasantly striking contrast to the 3D world around you. The minimalistic designs of the 2D street sign platforming sections wouldn’t be anything remarkable without the addition of the realistic 3D environments surrounding them. This lends itself to a much more immersive and yet whimsical experience.

There is no voice acting in The Pedestrian, but this game doesn’t need any. The sound design is outstanding on its own. Throughout are ceaseless sounds of typical city streets like cars driving around, as well as the footfalls of your character charging through each obstacle in your path. Each sound is clear and represented well, which helps to further sell the notion of being a living character with the signs of the bustling city. The soundtrack is wonderful and adds a layer of depth to the puzzles that you wouldn’t normally expect from a game like this.

The Pedestrian

Nothing is as simple as it seems.

I have to admit that The Pedestrian really took me by surprise. The trailer made it look intriguing, but I’ve been duped by trailers many times before. This game delivered even more of an amusing experience than I was expecting. If you’re at all a fan of puzzle/platformers, then you shouldn’t let The Pedestrian pass you by.

 

Graphics: 8.5

It’s a 2.5D game, meaning that the main puzzle/platforming parts are in 2D with the rest of the world rendered in a very realistic 3D manner. The contrasting styles work brilliantly here.

Gameplay: 9.5

While the platforming aspects are pretty run of the mill, the puzzle elements are anything but. They require lots of strategic planning and thinking outside the box at times.

Sound: 9.0

There’s no voice acting, but the background noises and soundtrack are fantastic.

Fun Factor: 9.0

The Pedestrian takes the common puzzle/platforming genre and puts its own fun twist on it. The puzzles are fun with an appropriate level of increased difficulty throughout.

Final Verdict: 9.0

The Pedestrian is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of The Pedestrian was provided by the publisher.

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