Feb 18, 2014
I’m certainly a little surprised by this, but Principia is among the most ridiculously complex videogames I’ve ever played. Not complex because it has lots of content, but complex because if you want to â€œplayâ€ it right, you have to have an IQ of 310.
There are three (actually two) modes. There’s mission mode, where the player needs to get robots to their destinations across preset levels, using a number of interactable objects; Create mode – the main and the most important one, where the player can create any damn thing he wants – and Discover mode, where you can download levels other users have created. Creation mode is, essentially, the mode that you should by Principia for. If you’re not in a creative mood, well, I think you can spend $3.50 on some better stuff. But if you are â€“ damn the game’s a treat. There’s a 2.5-D surface, with three layers of depth, where the player can spawn various objects and weld/tie/activate by robots/connect with one another. Explaining the mechanics or possibilities is going to take ridiculously long, because there are so many options. You can even spawn cubic boxes of material, a-la Minecraft, and set the angle of the bloody gravity! It’s like digital Lego for adults.
I want to say that Principia, essentially being a new version of another great sandbox game, Apparatus, is similar to the old physics game Incredible Machines, but Principia is so much more than that. It makes you learn about robotics, programming and physics like no textbook ever could â€“ but only if you’re willing to participate in class. For example, the game could probably think I’d start making ingenious contraptions that would solve calculus or make french fries, or complete Rubik’s cube in 0 turns, but all my simple intelligence went purely on breeding humanoid wooden dummies and stacking cups underneath, so they would all neatly fall into them and take funny poses. The game is definitely unpleasant to the beginners. The tutorial is really vague and doesn’t show the tenth of the game’s mechanics, and while each element has its own information box with all its properties, it takes a while to get acquainted with all the options and controls. It more than makes up for it with the amount of tools, though. So, if you have a fever, and the only prescription is complex self-constructed mechanisms, then Principia is the game for you.
Principia Review Rundown
Download: App available at the Google Play Store »