Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
While it's incredibly easy to explain the core mechanics of Gleamer, it's almost impossible to explain just how deviously those systems are woven together over the course of this minimalist platformer's 50 levels, almost every one of which can quite fairly be described as "hard as coffin nails."
You take command of a small yellow square that moves automatically across the screen, switching direction only when it comes into contact with a wall. We say "take command" because the only real order you can give is to tell the square to jump in the air by tapping once on the screen. The objective is to leap around and gather the five shimmering lights to be found in each stage.
The platforming component of Gleamer is built from the two different flavors of walls - those that are blue and those that are red. Blue walls can take the weight of your traveling square, but come into contact with a red ledge and your square will evaporate immediately. Each time you touch a blue wall face-on and rebound, you'll gain a little extra speed, adding further pressure to the whole process
You might feel that this all sounds rather easy, but rest assured it's far from it. It takes some well-timed jumping to clear the largest of gaps and just clear an agonizing area of red, for example. Often, you'll have to bounce off the merest corner of a blue ledge with pixel-perfect precision, so as to gain the necessary rebound for reaching a higher platform. Most levels require you to unravel its many, many component steps on the fly, and there's often plenty of backtracking to factor in as well.
Eventually you'll reach levels that require you to nestle between two tightly-packed walls, and briskly build up enough momentum to cross a chasm. Unfortunately, when it comes to your timing for hitting the jump command, you're really just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best given the speed at which directional turns are made during this furious acceleration. It's at these moments that this heavily skill-based game comes down to too much luck for our liking. Overall, the difficulty curve between levels is also very spiky in general.
Most people will either love or loathe Gleamer immediately, and not even an obsession with the likes of Super Hexagon is any guarantee that you'll fall into the former camp. We fell somewhere in-between the two extremes if we're honest. It's a lovely idea, crisply presented, but with just too many flaws to make it worthy of a particularly hearty recommendation. Still, if you're interested in testing your true capacity for cursing, and Super Hexagon seems a little tame these days, you'll certainly get your money's worth here.
What's Hot:Crisp and elegant presentation, a deceptively simple challenge, and one of our favorite soundtracks of 2013.
What's Not:Erratic difficulty curve, occasionally unresponsive controls, and a level unlock in-app purchase that seems a little cynical.