Ynglet (PC) Review: Big Bang Theory

Don't try to make too much sense of it, Ynglet is a unique, bona-fide indie chill game with great sound production and.. well, it's fun!

Ynglet is one of a kind. Forget any offers of buy one, get one free – this is the main event; everything else will be a distraction. Now that you’ve removed all forms of disruption, you can focus on deciphering what’s happening here or sit back and chill.

Yes, this is a chill game, and they’re in the top five when it comes to games I want to play after a hard day, well, playing games. What’s even more appealing is when they’re so unique, or quirky, as this.

Developed by Nifflas with a little help from their friends, Triple Topping (Welcome To Elk – if you haven’t played it, shame on you), Ynglet is a bit like Flow from the olden days of PS3, but only using that as a benchmark to give you an idea.

Ynglet (PC) Review

After what appears to be The Big Bang, a world map evolves, and from here, you select the levels you wish to play. They differ each time, and some can be a good length, while others can be completed in less than a minute. The latter was less appealing as there’s no challenge or reward as such.

Ynglet out now on Steam
Source: Steam

But for the meat and veg of Ynglet, you’ll be fighting gravity (from a top-down perspective), hopping from one shape to the next. As long as you stay put on these shapes, a colour tracer will cover the area to indicate that it’ll now become your respawn point. Gameplay-wise, it’s a case of reaching the warp of each level. It’s essentially a top-down platformer in terms of structure.

Respawning identified, can you die? Not really. There aren’t any health levels; you’ll just be swept off into the abyss. If you feel that you’re heading the wrong way, you can always reposition yourself at a button press.

The other skill is the dash. This can be performed on the fly, so mid-way through a ‘jump’, you hold down the dash button/key, and a guide will show, giving you an indication of trajectory. It’s a straight line, but later hazards will appear, and you’ll need to rebound off them. Another fun part about the dash is you can only use one at a time, so if you’ve underestimated a gap and not created a nearby checkpoint, byeeeeeeeeeee….

Homemade, The Way Nana Used To

Everything is hand-drawn in Ynglet. The illustrations here resemble doodles you’d do while on the phone, during a lecture, or in one of those meetings about meetings. They’re pretty rough, but charming and they work well as if you’re looking under a microscope as recreated by a cartoonist.

Ynglet - Go with the Flow
Go with the Flow. Source: Steam

Perhaps an element that has been massively underrepresented in this review is the sound. This was probably my favourite part of an already fun game. Movements and interactions with the world will trigger tones, and musical notes, plus the ambient noises throughout are euphoric. That sounds like a strong word for a low-key indie game, but no, I’ve used the right word.

It’s not only a chill game, but it’s fun too – like laugh out loud. Tone down the ‘chill’ just a bit, as my interpretation of a chill game is unwinding with minimal effort. Ynglet does still require some precision and timing, even if you opt for the chill ‘difficulty’ of the game.

However, the repeated sections are never experiences on irritation or anger. If anything, it has as much malice as saying, “Ha! Silly me, I’ve done it again”. Without even raising an eyebrow, you might find yourself chipping away at a level a little longer than you’d expect.

Under A Microscope

On my part, it was more to do with the occasional timing of using my dash ability or exploring every single corner of the level to make sure I had collated all collectables. Unless there was a configuration I was missing, you only know whether you’ve collected everything after finishing a level.

Ynglet Review - On the rebound
On the rebound. Source: Steam

Other times, it was using the dash at the right time to signal a sonar type effect to locate other lifeforms that you kinda help rescue. In reality, you move onto the same shape as them, then follow them to the warp.

While adding to this Ynglet review, I revisited and discovered the assist mode. If anything, it’s a cheat code system, as you can adjust the game speed, movement assistance, gravity, and air control. Tinkering with these was exactly that: it’s fun to have the option, but the controls and reactions are spot-on.

Ynglet Review Summary

Concluding that a game is pleasant sounds a little deflating, but I mean it with respect. Ynglet is a swift playthrough, but it’s the kind of game to come back to and revisit to hear the awesome sounds and laugh at your appalling application of gravity. It’s an alternative to that mindfulness you keep hearing everyone talking about.