Posted on 19 May 2018 by Adison


The Defence

Genre: Indie, Platformer, Puzzle
Platform: PC
Review copy: Yes
Release date: No data.

The Prosecution

OS: Windows
CPU: Intel Core i3 2.4 GHz
AMD A6 2.4 GHz
VGA: Nvidia GeForce GT 240
AMD Radeon HD AMD Radeon HD 4670
Intel HD Graphics 4000
DirectX: 10
Controller: Full
Mod Support: Unknown
VR: No
FOV Slider: No
FPS Lock: Unknown
OS: Windows
CPU: Intel Core i5 2.4 GHz
AMD FX 2.4 GHz
VGA: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470
AMD Radeon HD 6870
DirectX: 11
Controller: Full
Mod Support: Unknown
VR: No
FOV Slider: No
FPS Lock: Unknown

The Case

MEANDERS is a 3D platforming puzzle game produced and published by ATOMIC BREATH. The game features 40 puzzles of complex but supposedly funny natures. The game totes a very minimalistic graphic style and the puzzles are largely exploration coupled with small amounts of logic and observation involved. Going into the game, you might be wondering how enjoyable a game of this variety with such a minimalized style could be? The answer is quite a bit, and you’d be surprised at the amount of annoyance it can induce at the same time. In fact, if the game didn’t have such an enjoyable atmosphere and pace to it, I might have gotten sick of the mechanics.

The Trial

To start off, MEANDERS features an AI that asks you a few questions and then moves on to the game. All I can guess is that it’s attempting to do some kind of GLaDOS reference However, the AI itself is not really that present aside from occasional blips of text on the screen. This does not really add very much to the game in my opinion, but it a little neat I guess. There’s apparently a way to do something to the AI, but it didn’t do much for the game’s ending either way. A secondary reason for not bothering with this is that the game doesn’t really have much in the way of a story, and doesn’t make you feel inclined or give you any incentive to do it. The lack of a proper story is the big pinch on this game, which hurts its overall score, but not much.

Your main goal within the game is to complete puzzle-style levels which involve both physics and logic based obstacles including; bounce pads, slippery slides, crystals that must be activated, speed pads that move you rapidly, hoops to throw the ball they give you through, falling platforms, portals, cannons you can aim and use to shoot yourself around. Sometimes the map elements also change; tunnels form, towers move, and small platforms trigger portions of the map itself to move around. The basic goal is to open and get to the exit. There can be a serious amount of flow to the movement once you get used to it though, which can make that slippery nature not matter nearly as much. Not that there’s much real movement you can do in the game aside from run and jump.

Here, there be dragons.

Collectibles exist in this game in the form of orbs that you smash, and moving balloons that you strike with your body or a red ball they give you to throw. The balloons are particularly difficult to ping sometimes, but the orbs are almost always easy to do. I don’t see these things as needed, but I find myself struggling to get them all anyway! That’s because it tells you how many are left each time, and they’re typically in plain sight making them a juicy target for people with a casual collection nature. I do prefer when games do casual collection instead of trying to milk hours of gameplay by hiding things in absurd places. Some of them move entirely too fast however, and that can make hitting them a real trial, which brought out a bit of annoyance at them. There are no real rewards for getting them, except that it tells you that you did.

There are also modifications you can make in the game at any time. These modifications can either make the game easier, harder or just plain different. I personally prefer the semi-auto gun that exists in the options. I wish I had, in fact, known about it before I played through without it and got agitated at some points. The options are all references to other games, the majority of which are pretty easily recognizable. There’s another that I didn’t actually get, but apparently it allows you to throw beams of material and then stop time and use them to get around. Very unusual, but a neat thing to have if you’re really bad at balloons like I am. A minor point is that some of these options change the way jumping works, which for me is great since it could be kind of slippery sometimes.

This seems like a bad idea.

The various options in the game do not only impact the gameplay, but they also add cosmetic artifacts to the game’s levels. Some others even alter the entire color and layout of the game, which can be pretty crazy. I personally don’t see too much value in this, and find myself more inclined to just change the color of the interactive things in the game, which makes it look much less typical. I will say that the dragon option they employ in the game was pretty delightful to see. Which causes dragons to fly around in the background, being all squiggly. There also seems to be some currently unimplemented material in the game and I find myself excited to see that as well. After testing out some of the game’s more interesting options, I find myself mildly frustrated with a lot of the variations. Some break the mechanics of the maps, and losing all your momentum when jumping tends to get frustrating, however this is minor and not really that big of a deal. I recommend trying the Dry Souls setting; this causes you to die if you come in cotact with the water at the bottom of every level. This setting makes the game a serious nightmare, especially when paired with one shot one hit that makes it so you have to make every shot you take with the red ball you get to throw at stuff.

The Verdict

There’s a decent amount of content and it’s all pretty fun, but I don’t know about funny. MEANDERS does however have a pretty unusual soundtrack to it that I found neither amazing, nor annoying. It worked, and it fit the games quasi-quirky nature. I found the atmosphere of the game was intended to be that way, and it did a decent job with it. There’s no outright humor but there’s also nothing that’s completely boring about the game. In the end, I feel some of the things are minor misspellings due to translation issues. ATOMIC BREATH did a pretty decent job on the game, and at such a low price I think the majority of people will find this a reasonable and fun purchase if they get it.

Case Review

  • Lucky Charms:  Orbs and Balloons! Yeah, fun collection is fun.

  • Minimalism: Simplicity can sometimes be a good thing if it’s done just right.

  • Competent: Knew what they were going for, and did it right.

  • Storytime?: Secret; It’s not. There’s pretty much no story, and I’m not even sure they tried.

4 Score: 4/5
Behold our references!


  • Game: Language, AI, and interface options exist here, they make for a little customized nature in the game.
  • Audio: All the usual stuff, nothing new here! Master, Music, Effects, and Ambient.
  • Graphics: Individually customizable quality options, and display options of the basic sort.
  • Keyboard: Fully customizable button selection, in fact this is the best part of the options.
  • Gamepad: Not customizable, but it does have support for both xbox and Playstation controllers. Well done.
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