The Way Of The Multi-Directional Furball U27RA R3Z0NANC3 – PC Review

Do what your teachers said in your reports and apply yourself; U27RA R3Z0NANC3 is a thoughtful game in many interpretations.

While playing U27RA R3Z0NANC3 over the weekend, I contemplated sending an email to Dumivid and call them a swine. Yeah, that’s right; swine – proper strong stuff. But a couple of things stopped me.

First, that’s not my bag. I don’t give people grief, regardless of what my wife tells you, plus it’s not a nice email to receive. Second, the swine slur is one of affection: U27RA R3Z0NANC3 is a challenging yet rewarding game. The best way to express it is in this review.

It’s a familiar disclaimer, but after reading the press material, the resulting gameplay differed from my expectations. That isn’t a weighted good or bad, just that the mechanics and aesthetics were not what was imagined. Again, neither a good or bad thing.

U27RA R3Z0NANC3 reminded me of ChuChu Rocket! After all those years, it has matured as any fine puzzler should, and while it isn’t as manic as my choice of words suggests, it’s bloody hard. That’s hard as in that pep talk from your parents of ‘tough, but fair’.

U27RA R3Z0NANC3 - Kitty
Kitty, kitty. Source: Steam

The aim in U27RA R3Z0NANC3 is to complete a series of puzzles that your evil cat brother, Wevil, has set. You, Neko, are armed with furballs that shoot in eight directions, the goal ultimately to set off a chain of events to free your cat brethren, but beware: some elements will block your shots or render them useless with the introduction of colour.

Before you know it, you are now aiming to hit different coloured cats using switches. If a furball flys over one, it will change the colour. For example, blue can only hit blue cats, and orange for its respective colour. To complicate things, Neko can change colour too, plus there’s the yarn ricochet mechanic.

Sometimes the yarn is already allocated a colour, others it’s a blank canvas, and you can push it onto a switch to change the colour. It requires planning: you have to be about 10 or 20 paces ahead of yourself as these puzzles are tremendously hard when starting out. Let that not be a deterrent, however, as that challenge makes it all worthwhile. Sure there are achievements embedded in U27RA R3Z0NANC3, but the real satisfaction is the solution after so many attempts.

The encounters between Neko and Wevil are interesting, and Dumivid has an excellent sense of humour. That’s one of the many things I admire in a solo developer’s work. Like a cinema auteur, they have this signature or element of their personality that is often consistent and identifiable. Not that I’ve met him, but I get the impression that there’s a lot of his personality in this game. And that, fellow profilers, would indicate that this man is a sadist.

Promotion of the game featured retrowave music, a genre usually associated with chilling to. Something like Out Of Sight. From my perspective, U27RA R3Z0NANC3 isn’t a casual game. That depends on how you define that. Sure, you can drop in and out, often bypassing other levels, and a stage is usually over quickly (i.e. you fail).

Pressing fire will either propel you to the next stage or end it. Respawning is simple enough with the press of a button or R on the keyboard. If you’re a dope like me, you might end up pressing R instead of releasing your balls when you have the perfect setup.

U27RA R3Z0NANC3 Out Today On PC
Source: Steam

My interpretation of casual is a less demanding style of play. In fear of this review being peppered with contradictions, U27RA R3Z0NANC3 isn’t demanding that it stresses you out, but feels like a game of chess. Only, you can’t really leave it and come back to it. Unless you want screen burn-in.

U27RA R3Z0NANC3 is a slow-burner in a positive sense of the term. It doesn’t feel plausible for me to steam through this game in its entirety and bash out a review. It genuinely is something you should take your time with, and in some respects, you don’t have a choice as it’s so ruddy difficult, and makes me feel like the pussy.

But again, that’s a positive spin. I don’t want to finish a game in 20 minutes and never come back to it. Using the chess analogy once more, I want to feel confident in having my board laid out, then dipping into a move or two (a.k.a. a couple of stages at a time) and savour it. I haven’t had to think this much since repeating “I do” all those years ago.