Pillar is a puzzle collection of psychological mini-games where players will guide multiple characters through a series of logic-based puzzles, which supposedly tells you what sort of personality you have. Once You start the game you have a choice of six personality traits to choose from: distant, focused, giving, capable, enduring and renewing.
You can choose any of these that best reflects your personality, and the game will take you through a series of puzzles that best suits the mental outlook of the chosen trait. The series of challenges will really push you in a unique way.
There are distinct pairs of personality traits and the characters that possess those traits are linked together. After navigating a puzzle, you will find the second character and come together like a key that unlocks a door. Therefore, it feels as if for completing a puzzle you sorta have to rely on the opposite trait to progress in the game.
Each puzzle has some obstacles for you to overcome and reach the exit. The exit being the “pillar,” a place that holds the key to understanding what is going on. Each trait has a separate series of levels to complete, and they definitely get more difficult as you progress.
Let’s review some examples of how traits work together in the game. Take for instance Distant and focus. The male painter is the distant trait, and the woman is focus. As distant, you use a canvas to create numbered speakers on the level that are then used as pressure pads to distract enemies so that you can sneak past them and meet focus the woman to complete the level.
Still confused? Let’s try another example.
Renewing and enduring again work as opposite traits, and the levels of each one possibly feature some of the easiest puzzles in the game (at least in my opinion, since I got through the puzzles with minimal difficulties). You will control your characters through a series of maze-like rooms, and depending which trait you chose to play, if you picked enduring then you will progress by passing numbered plates that zap your life bit by bit and close to them you will find little blue orbs that you must grab to complete each level. Oh, and the renewing character will disappear through portals and reopen the numbered plates to stop you from making it to the end Once you collect all the orbs you will then meet the renewing character and move to the next level.
As for the rest of Pillar, the in-game music gives a distinct feeling of loneliness, and it blends in very well with the theme of the game. The developer chose his music very well. Also, the hand-drawn graphics are very charming and warm to look at, and they keep the player focused on the environment and the puzzles that need to be solved.
There are six trophies to collect for Pillar, and they’re not easy! Sure, if you go with a guide you will get them faster, but Pillar is the type of game you need to experience without a guide during your first run.
The overall game is very fun once you get the hang of it. It is very original and takes it’s inspiration from the well-known Myers-Briggs personality tests that we have all took in some form or another at least once in our lives. At times, I found the puzzles and the core of the game difficult to understand, but I got there in the end, and I started to have fun playing the game and testing the different traits. It was unlike any kind of game I have ever played. A truly fun game but one that is very difficult to master. It is definitely a worth checking out.
This review is based on a copy of Pillar provided by MichaelArts LLC.