Linn: Path of Orchards – Angular Momentum and Puzzles, What’s Not To Love?

Sep 23, 2019
Puzzle

Linn: Path of Orchards is a puzzle game focused around both directional movement and careful balance.

When it comes to puzzle platformers you typical either get some kind of moveable surface, or you will need to time your jumps properly so as to achieve the correct goal and win. Linn: Path of Orchards is an interesting combination of these two puzzle platformer mainstays, allowing the player the opportunity to both time their movements as well as watch the effect it has on the level.

In Linn: Path of Orchards, you need to collect individual shards every level, as well as a glowing star that is far harder to reach. You can move left or right with a single swipe, as well as double jump. It’s all fairly simple at first, but the difference is that your character, presumably named Linn, exists only on moveable surfaces that are hinged in different places. As you move, so too does the level around you, influenced by the momentum of your movement, causing the ground beneath you to shift and sway.

As you move, so too does the level around you, influenced by the momentum of your movement, causing the ground beneath you to shift and sway.

This causes Linn to fall down, as the floor she was standing on suddenly becomes a right angle, or it causes her to move at a much faster rate than intended. While this might seem like a serious flaw, it’s actually the key to allow you to actually achieve your objectives. Certain shards are located in hard to reach places, while other ones are impossible to get and then come back to the level without actually jumping and maneuvering around the moving platform. Once you clear a level, you’re greeted with how you did. It not only tracks the number of shards you achieved, as well as each level’s extra hard to reach sun, but it also tracks the number of moves you used to get those shards. It doesn’t just keep a tally, it actively sets a limit, like in golf, so every level you can see that you used, say, 5/2 total moves.

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It doesn’t just keep a tally, it actively sets a limit, like in golf, so every level you can see that you used 5/2 total moves.

While the game doesn’t seem to punish you for this, it’s clearly saying that it has a number of moves that it expects you to utilize. This means that every single level has a mathematical best option, meaning that the only way to actually achieve this is to repeat the same levels over and over, and over. While this might only be a problem for perfectionists, it isn’t a great idea to make a core mechanic of your game be focused around janky, confusing movements, then implicitly punish the player for not sticking to the game’s arbitrary assessment of the total number of required moves.

Linn: Path of Orchards offers a unique combination of mechanics, but the passive aggressive judgment of not achieving the required moves makes Linn: Path of Orchards a rather grating experience.

Our Rating

ProsCons
Great balance between careful movements and map positioning.It is extremely irritating to have a number of moves you are supposed to achieve. The controls can feel uncoordinated and janky.
Rating
6/10
Linn: Path of Orchards
Linn: Path of Orchards
Developer:
Price: $2.99
Linn: Path of Orchards
Linn: Path of Orchards
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