(Not) Just Another Brick in the Wall
One of the primary strengths of videogames is their ability to make hypothetical worlds come alive. In the case of Against the Wall, an indie game in alpha by Michael Consoli, the world is an infinite vertical wall, made of interlocking bricks. All life—plants, humans… monsters?… well, no monsters that I encountered—cling to the side of this unforgiving plane. Against the Wall is far from finished, but it’s already shaping up to be a prime example of the experimentation, wonder, and fun that are often the hallmarks of the indie scene.
The story is still under wraps, but I hope the final story sticks with the current minimalist approach. As it stands, your goal is as simple as climbing to the next visible landmark. This is aided by an annoyingly-shaped wand with the power to cause the bricks of the wall to emerge or retract, allowing you to puzzle your way upwards. As the blocks are different sizes, the route up is not often simple.
Along the way, you’ll encounter deserted towns, curious feats of engineering, and even examples of the types of plant life that thrive on the wall. The current alpha only took me about an hour to explore, with plenty of bumbling about and doing silly things like jumping from the highest point and recording my fall past everything I’d climbed (which you can now view here).
If you do give it a try (you can play the current alpha for free, or preorder for ten bucks), I’d recommend persevering past the first bit. The early segment with nothing but the white bricks felt a bit tedious, but eventually you’ll reach much more interesting… terrain? In later sections, different colors of blocks possess different properties—best left discovered for yourself—and the process of climbing becomes much more fulfilling and puzzle-like. Also, the quicksave button is your dear friend here, and I’m glad it was implemented in such an early build.
So yes: please do take a look. Maybe something in the water affected me, but for some reason Against the Wall managed to completely grab me for the space of about an hour.