Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
June 9, 2014

Being a huge fan of the subtle, surreal, artistic games (I’m particularly partial to Thatgamecompany’s productions), I thought I’d fall in love with Entwined . Upon first seeing it displayed on the stage during Sony’s E3 presentation, and learning that the game was already available, I couldn’t wait to try it out. After several hours of playing, during which time I was continually reminded of games like Flower and Child of Eden , I emerged satisfied, but not enamored. Developer PixelOpus tries for a profound experience but it never quite coalesces into something special.

The entrancing, vivid graphical presentation is part of the reason Child of Eden kept popping into my head. Entwined doesn’t quite assault your senses in the same way, as the developers implement some softer tones and hues, so you don’t always feel on the verge of a seizure. PixelOpus sort of wants to tell a tale through this abstract visual style and to some extent, they succeed. But the longer you play, the more you realize that there’s a distinct lack of depth and variety (more on that in a second), and this applies to the graphics as well. Still, it’s very pretty and immensely creative.

There isn’t much to the audio, as it remains mostly understated throughout. I liked some of the music selections for the game but beyond that, there isn’t much to talk about. The special effects are appropriately crisp yet subdued, as if every technical aspect seeks to involve the participant via interpretation. In other words, how we react to the sights and sounds in the game will differ based on who’s playing; some will feel more emotionally attached to and invested in the experience. For me, the music worked, but it wasn’t enough to fully immerse me in what is an otherwise intriguing title.

The idea behind Entwined is simple and romantic: There’s a blue bird and an orange goldfish; each “character” represents a soul, and they are forever mated. In other words, they’re soul mates, and the player must find a way to bring them together. This involves controlling both creatures at the same time: The bird is on the right and the goldfish is on the left, and you have to guide them through a series of markers. It’s basically like following a vibrant, unique racecourse of sorts, and as you progress, the speed and intensity picks up. The idea is to hit all those gates and snag as many orbs as you can.

Once you’re successful, the two creatures will fuse into one majestic green dragon, after which time you can locate the exit. That’s one lifetime and there nine overall but unfortunately, it won’t take you much longer than two hours to enjoy those “lifetimes.” That’s a little on the short side but I will mention the five challenge stages because after all, they do add to the longevity of the game. On top of which, you feel as if you’re embarking on a good and noble quest; you’re going to unite two souls forever and that’s worthy of your attention, right? In an industry that loves to fixate on the dark and gritty, this is a refreshing change of pace, at the very least.