European paper trails flipping around your head and tail. Cue the oboe music. We're in for a disorienting trip, keep your footing.
And Yet It Moves is a platform game in the tradition of Polygon Gmen's ぐらびっちょん, meaning you flip around gravity. For a genre founded by a character called Jumpman, this game puts refreshingly alternative emphasis of manipulating gravity, rather than merely pushing against it. You can jump, but that didn´t become apparent to me until I really needed to jump in order to proceed, about 70% of the way in.
The rest of it a vertigo challenge, both to keep your sense of orientation but also to avoid building too much momentum with your paper man, which shatters him into comically punctuated scraps. The result is gameplay that perfectly balances challenge with relaxing gestalt, but let me get on about the aesthetics.
The paper mache vibe works both as a hip, Euro-style motif and as a way of structuring the games boundaries. Despite the hand-crafted look, the level design imparts a feel of clastrophobic solipsism, reminding me slightly of Tomb Raider but more of a dream I had where a mouse was crawling through my brain, trying to find the exit. Even escaping the cave, you are faced with the grim edges of a world made of paper, beyond which is all-consuming void. The sounds match this feeling perfectly, from the crisply rewarding pop of your fickle death to hum of the music, though I recommend putting on Ghosts I-IV or that new chestnut, Bromst, to really enchance the mood. Late in the game you get bit by a snake and the usual rotation vertigo is exponentiated by slow-spin tripping, things begin to melt, trees take on anthropomorphic angry face, the world bleeds a new cacaphony of color and everything becomes crazy in the last quarter. For that transition level alone, this game is worth the price of admission.
My biggest critique is in the balancing of the kill threshold relative to the scale of objects. They needed to make you die after X seconds of falling (momentum is retained even when you rotate) so they found that threshold in order to make all their level design work functional. I think they dug themselves into a balancing trap, because by the time they had a lot of content to test that variable against, they also had a shitload of work to do everytime they adjusted it. The end result is a paranoia that even slight movements will kill you, a more relaxed kill-threshold coupled with a difference scaling of the level designs would have made the major navigations between checkpoints as challenging as they are now, but would have made slight adjustments in position more forgiving, helping the already smooth game to go down like medicine with a spoon of sugar. This one flaw is forgivable because the game features the most satisfying deaths since N.