The Pillar: Puzzle Escape is a new first-person puzzle game from Eastasiasoft out now on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
The Pillar is something like a basic adventure game with puzzles. It takes place entirely in the first-person perspective. There is no story – just a dream-like world with mysterious crystals that for some reason have puzzles for you to solve.
The game is broken into different levels. Each level is an island with its own unique environment. Usually, there is a gate blocking your path; you’ll need to solve puzzles to open it. There are also sections where you’ll need to move objects around to activate squares. Later in the game, there are portals that teleport you to other parts of the level.
There are a few different types of puzzles that you’ll need to solve. Most of them involve a grid. In some of them, you have to draw multiple lines, each a different color. The trick is that you have to clear all of the white space on the grid, connecting two like-colored squares without intersecting other lines.
Another puzzle has you clear an entirely white grid, filling it with a single color. However, the grid is oddly shaped, and the line that you draw can’t intersect with itself. It’s not very difficult once you understand what’s going on, but it did take me a little bit to figure out what exactly the game wants you to do. That’s because there is no tutorial, which is fine since I prefer to just figure out how the mechanics work on my own.
One of the puzzles is actually more of a memory test. Again, it uses the same grid and line-drawing concept. The twist here is that the squares light up and disappear. You have to try to replicate the pattern, which is in the form of a moving trail. I actually had a harder time with this than the other puzzles.
One of my biggest complaints with the game is that it stutters when you walk around. I played this on an Xbox Series X. It’s not a graphically intense game. There’s no excuse for the performance issues.
If you’re into collecting Xbox achievements, you’ll want to check this out. The Pillar gives you three achievements for each fully completed level in the game. Obviously, it’s not a selling point for most people, but it is worth mentioning that the developer is generous with the achievements.
Otherwise, this is a pretty simple puzzle game that will only last you a few short hours. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s also not going to win any awards. The puzzles scale pretty well, going from easy to more challenging, but only a few of them are remotely difficult.
Overall, I can see fans of puzzle games enjoying this. It seems to draw pretty clear inspiration from another first-person puzzle game: The Witness. So if you’ve played that and liked it, you may consider checking this out.
Game Freaks 365 received a free review copy.