At first glance, Miegakure is just a simple puzzle-infused platformer with a crisp, colorful Japanese setting. That is, until you stumble upon its central mechanic. At the press of a button, the world seems to fold in on itself, collapsing and expanding like an accordion until a new, different world appears (just watch the trailer). Sometimes this new world contains slices of the old one, sometimes it's completely different. Developer Marc ten Bosch's explanation to me made sense, even if I didn't fully understand it: In Miegakure, you get to play with four dimensions, not just three. Throughout the game, you can swap one of the current three dimensions for the fourth.

If you've ever tried to comprehend rotation in four dimensions, you might be familiar with the mind-rending confusion that Miegakure can inspire. That said, I was able to intuit the solutions to Miegakure's puzzles, even if I didn't understand the principles at work. Bosch told me he's perfectly fine with that. "See, the thing that's really interesting to me, is that we've tried to build this game where you can play it and just get a feel for what the fourth dimension is like, without necessarily understanding what the math is," he said. "I sort of see it as like a toy ball. Like, you throw the ball, and you know what's going to happen to it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you know the math and understand gravity in a very deep way."

Miegakure is planned for PC, Mac, Linux and "another console." The release date hasn't been set.
[Image: Marc ten Bosch]
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Miegakure (4/22/14)

This article was originally published on Joystiq.