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Game Info:

Cefore
Developed By: Pixelz Games
Published By: Crytivo
Released: Nov 9, 2018
Available On: Windows
Genre: Puzzle, Strategy
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Number of Players: Single-player
Price: $9.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Crytivo for sending us a review code!

Knock ‘em down and blow ‘em up! There is something magical (technically scientific) about explosions. I’ve always been a fan of explosions, as long as they don’t harm people of course! The team of Pixelz Games decided to take a creative approach to the puzzle genre, by utilizing explosions to solve puzzles.

Cefore is a 3D physics-based puzzle game where you must use remote-activated explosions to gather blue cubes. These blue cubes have to be knocked off of things such as boxes or ledges. The game starts off with a rather simple tutorial, explaining how the controls and items work. The first few levels have you using small explosives, which can be primed with the left-click, and detonated with the B key. If you happen to misplace an explosive, you can right-click the placed explosives or click the undo button on the screen to return them to your inventory. That right mouse button is also used to pan the camera around. The camera work is very well done in this game, as you have complete control over it, and it will never move unless manually operated. I do wish that the undo action also had a key bind, as there is plenty of space for it. Oddly enough, Cefore doesn’t have key remapping either.

You can zoom in and out with the mouse wheel, and can also middle-click to move the camera off your character. Your character, by the name of Baro, moves around with the standard WASD, and space bar to jump or activate your jet pack. I don’t know why, but Baro reminds me of Mario. Maybe it’s the simple blue-collar design of him—or maybe it's the mustache! It has to be the mustache! Anyway, the tutorial does a good job explaining the mechanics, but I did have one minor issue with the tutorial. In Cefore, to collect blue cubes, the tutorial makes you think you have to place a beacon before you can attempt an action. Blue cubes cannot be collected without a beacon in place, and the beacon has a limited radius in which cubes can be obtained. It’s actually in your best interest to use your tools to knock around the cubes, and then place the beacon around them accordingly.

Cefore
Highlights:

Strong Points: Unique take on the puzzle genre; interesting set of tools to use; multiple solutions to the puzzles presented; level editor has some nice depth to it
Weak Points: The game is rather intensive on the hardware, even with its simple setting; undo button does not have a key bind, nor does the game have key remapping or controller support
Moral Warnings: There are lots of explosions, and you can potentially die from them

As you complete levels, currency is earned which lets you buy cosmetics for Baro, and more tools are unlocked, such as a rather crazy device called the warp zone which lets you attach blocks and items together within the warp zone. (For example, if you activate the warp zone, attach four blocks to each other, and blow them away, the four blocks will move together.) Other devices include hot air balloons, bigger explosives, support poles, a RC drone, and a grappling hook. Each level gives you a limited amount of contraptions to use. The later levels require some deep thinking, and trying to find out the best way to explode objects is very entertaining, especially when most levels can be solved in various ways. It might just be worth it to revisit levels to solve them in different ways. Try out the slow-mo motion when replaying levels.

The graphics are rather standard. The 3D art is colorful, yet simplistic with a small field of grass and trees (or a desert), followed by a seemingly endless white void. I do like the effect that the blue cubes give off. The little 2D images of cubes emitted from the 3D cube are quite mesmerizing. As of now, there are only five musical choices: a tutorial theme, one theme for day stages, another for night stages, one for the desert stages, and a theme for the main menu. They are nice to listen to when forming up your next strategy, and invoke a sense of calming energy.

Cefore
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

I did run into some stability issues. Even for a game with not much going on, it didn’t seem to run amazingly well. Sometimes I like to use my second screen to watch videos, and when that happened, it struggled to run over 20 FPS. For this particular game, I had to avert my whole attention to it, and even then it ran at around 30-35 FPS on a GeForce 970 and Intel i5 3470. I also had a moment where I couldn’t exit to the main menu, and had to force close the game via Task Manager. And of course since it is a physics-based game, interactions will not always play out the same way. 

Besides the fact that your character is dealing with explosives, and can potentially die from them if set off too close, there isn’t anything else morally concerning—at least within the game. When I checked the Steam forums to see how active the developers were with the game, I came across one particularly nasty exchange by the developer towards a customer who asked about controller support (spoiler alert: it doesn’t). The customer didn’t respond in the best way he or she could have, but it didn’t warrant having the developer blow up on them, throwing insults at the unfortunate person. Of course that doesn’t have to do with the game itself, but in this day and age when consumers actually have the chance to interact directly with developers, it is something to point out and be conscious of when the development is only a few people. Feedback and constructive criticism are very important for indie games, so when people see the developer acting like a jerk, it makes people less likely to provide crucial feedback.

There are about 28 levels in total (actually 27 because the last level is simply the credits) that may take a few hours to complete depending on your skill level. With Cefore's clever use of components, it manages to be a rather good puzzle game. Although I do not condone of the way the developer interacted with a customer, and advise you to be wary when reaching out to them, Cefore is safe for all ages to play. Cefore also contains a level editor, a sandbox mode, and Steam Workshop support to squeeze out even more hours if that's what you're into. For a $10 price, I did get enjoyment out of it, and can recommend it to fans of the physics-based puzzle genre.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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