I’m a fan of anime and when I watched the cut-scenes I couldn’t help but realize the premise of the game sounds like 50% of the anime that are currently streaming.
Thus, the world is in ruins because of an alien force made up of robots, humanity is on the brink of extinction, all the protagonist’s loved ones were killed, and you are a teenage girl with an extremely mature mindset.
You play as Reika Rekkeji, and during the robot onslaught you lost your left arm, but fortunately for you, a doctor and master in robotics finds you and attaches a nanobot arm in order to save you.
The two of you now work together, as Reika wants to stop the robot threat, while the doctor just wants to gather as much data about them as possible.
If you were to judge the game strictly based on screenshots or trailers, then the first word that mind come to mind would be “platformer”. While you may not be mistaken, Giga Wrecker Alt can be viewed as more of a physics-based puzzle game.
In fact, most of the game your thoughts will be somewhere between “How the heck do I pass this stage?” and “Why on Earth did I not think about that sooner?” and I for one was extremely pleased because of this.
Using Reika’s robotic arm, you can gather the robotic debris that you find and use it to create weapons and other physical constructs that will help solve all the puzzles such as creating platforms or extremely elastic rubbery spheres.
Because the whole premise of the game revolves around robots taking over the Earth, you were bound to face them at one point or another, and you’ll be facing a wide variety of foes, each of them with their own unique mechanics and ways to defeat.
Giga Wrecker Alt. pays great attention to detail, thanks to the realistic physics engine it uses, and you can use what knowledge of physics you have to your advantage, such as how inertia works.
More so, I loved how they payed close attention to certain details, such as how your footsteps sound differently when walking on different terrain types.
Of course, like all puzzle games, you may find yourself stuck at one point or another, and that is when the game comes in and gives you a helping hand (or better yet, a helping robot). Whenever Reika encounters a particularly difficult puzzle, she can ask Dolma to give her tips on what to do next in order to pass.
You have to make great use of your imagination since you can use the environment to your favor, such as destroying a piece of debris at a certain point will cause it to fall and become a passageway for you, or it can even crush whatever enemy it lands on.
One thing worth mentioning is that a lot of the later puzzles also require you to time your actions accordingly, not just perform certain actions and then let things unfold.
As far as I could tell, switching between “Normal” and “Hard” mode had no effect on the puzzles themselves, only the enemies, so if you are a natural at solving puzzles, then that aspect of the game will be a breeze regardless of the difficulty setting.
Because a lot of these puzzles won’t be too easy to get through on your first try, and since the damage you do to the environment is permanent, there will be times when you’ll wish you would have done things differently.
The game is quite forgiving as far as that aspect is concerned, and that is why you have key-locations set near all puzzles that allow you to time travel, essentially resetting the whole area back to how it was in the beginning and giving you a second chance, or a third….fourth, etc.
Dying is also something you’ll be doing quite often unfortunately, but at least you have a lot of savepoints scattered around the game, so whenever you die, you’ll just respawn at the closest one.
The problem with these savepoints is that although there are plenty of them, they aren’t exactly placed in the best locations, as a respawn might make you to redo two or three of the puzzles you’ve just passed, and not just one.
One problem that I encountered was that whenever I faced certain opponents, they would damage and knock me back without actually performing their attack animation.
Because of this, enemies that are right next to you, but on a higher ledge, become impossible to pass or even jump over unless you time a jump-attack perfectly.
This lack of visibility in terms of how enemies respond also extend to some boss encounters, making the game far more difficult that it should be at some points.
More so, there were some visual inconsistencies here and there, such as how regardless of what direction Reika was running towards, her robotic arm was always to the back, while her legs switched.
The puzzlesThe time traveling featureThe RPG elementsThe memorable enemiesThe realistic physics engineThe dialogue between characters
The generic storyMinor graphical inconsistenciesThe badly placed savepoints
Giga Wrecker Alt. redefines what it means to make a good platformer riddled with puzzles and obstacles, turning it into a core gameplay element that will keep you busy and second-guessing your choices consistently.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, then the fast-paced combat and the unique bosses you will encounter will certainly draw out your inner warrior.
The gameplay is addicting, a lot of the mechanics used are new, and even the humor is enough to at least make you chuckle from time to time.
Either way, Giga Wrecker Alt. deserves a place in any self-proclaimed puzzle solver’s digital library!