Entwined tells the tale of a bird and a fish who are in love but who cannot be together because of the laws of nature. Sadly, their story is not very well conveyed. It is washed in ambience and in ephemeral beauty. The graphics of Entwined might be beautiful and relaxing, but they completely interfere with the storytelling.
Everything about Entwined is abstract. Blue rectangles and triangles form the shape of a bird on the right side of the screen, while a fish is shown on the left. The two creatures move through a tunnel full of glowing orbs and shapes that create a mysterious, otherworldly, abstract aesthetic. Each of the creatures can only move in its own hemisphere (air or sea). The bird and fish can come together at the top or bottom of the screen. When they come together they’ll chime because their love for one another is so strong they cannot help but sing when they’re together… something like that anyway.
As the two creatures continue on their journey through the vortex they’ll come across orange and blue windows which they must navigate through. And so the action continues until the two creatures are brought together and become one beautiful being. You must guide them towards their merger by using the left stick (fish) and right stick (bird).
Entwined wears its heart on its sleeve. It is a relaxing, beautiful, colourful and bright game which aims to lure you into a state of meditative relaxation and tranquillity through symmetrical patterns and relaxing music. Entwined is divided into nine different levels (“lifetimes”) each of which has its own style and feel. My personal favourite “lifetime” is the fourth one, in which you journey through a rust-red cavern, listening to a chilled out melody with guitars and a drumbeat which rises as the bird and fish come closer together. The windows in the level have been designed in order to make your thumb flick to a certain drumbeat. It’s a creative and artistic use of the game’s basic mechanics and adds an additional level of entertainment to the proceedings.
Entwined is let down by a lack of diversity. Every level in the game takes place in the same basic cylindrical environment and the gameplay never really evolves. There’s little here to keep the gameplay feeling fresh and, as a result, you’ll grow tired of it before too long. The basic gameplay mechanic of using both sticks to simultaneously control both creatures feels fresh at first but soon grows stale. You’ll find yourself begging for some new element to the gameplay, and you’ll never be satiated. As such, the only source of sustenance are the colourful visuals and the pleasant music, which are enough to create an enjoyable and relaxing atmosphere, but not enough to create a compelling gaming experience.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5.
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