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Balthazar Auger

Constrained game: Z-Rox

constraints1 min read

Z-Rox is a 1-dimensional game. But it is also not a 1-dimensional game.

The premise is to guess invisible objects seen through a thin line that scans up or down. I suggest you go play it (it is a good puzzle game, gets your brain going) and then come back for the rest of it.

Upon further analysis, I came to the conclusion that this game is not unidimensional. If you watch the line closely, you can see that the line is actually 2 o 3 pixels high, and that allows the player to have a hint of the slopes and curves of the object. The hidden objects are bidimensional too, as is the player input.

Considering the above, Z-Rox is more precisely put an unidimensional representation of a bidimensional object. The gameplay emerges from the gap between the two, resting on the brain’s ability to resolve a bidimensional image from line fragments. Paradoxically, this “1-D” game’s gameplay depends more on the brain’s 2-D capacities than any 2-D game!

From an analytical point of view, it is far from being unidimensional. Of course, if the game had actually been strictly 1-D, it would have probably been much less enjoyable :-) .

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