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Glyph review for Nintendo Switch, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Bolverk Games
Developer: Bolverk Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

I feel like Glyph doesn’t really know what it wants to be.

On the one hand, it’s very clearly a ball-rolling 3D platformer in the tradition of games like Super Monkey Ball, to say nothing of Marble Madness and all its successors. You roll a ball, you jump from platform to platform — it’s all very familiar-feeling if you’ve played any of the many, many games like this (to say nothing of the many, many more games that feature ball-rolling levels).

The problem is, Glyph doesn’t want to be just that, though. It’s constantly pushing you to do speedruns and time trials, trying to get you to bounce and soar your little rolling bug as quickly as possible.

This isn’t the worst idea in the world. I mean, given that plenty of older titles have established what the formula is for games like this, why not try something new?

The problem, however, is that Glyph’s controls and camera aren’t nearly precise enough to pull off speedruns. Rather than allowing you to jump and land exactly where you want every time, you’ll constantly find yourself floating through the air, and then slowly manoeuvring yourself down towards the platforms beneath you. Couple that with a camera that doesn’t always move as quickly or as easily as you want it to, and you can see why there’s a huge gulf between what the game wants you to do and what it actually allows you to do.

That’s kind of a shame, because not only is it nice to see a game trying new things, Glyph is fairly charming with its little steampunk bug main character and the other steampunk-y bugs scattered throughout every level, cheering you on and doling out bits of the game’s lore. Further, there’s something soothing about floating around from platform to platform — even if that’s not what the game intended.

Because there’s such a disconnect between what it wants to be and what it actually is, it’s hard to know whether to recommend Glyph. It doesn’t come anywhere close to achieving what it sets out to do, but it still offers enough that if you can overlook its failures, there’s a decent enough game hiding underneath.

Bolverk Games provided us with a Glyph Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-