In the game you’ll play as Ember and Rime, young woman and man who each hail from kingdoms representing elemental extremes, ember from a world of warmth and Rime from a world of cold. Separated by a barrier, the world around them changes depending on whose side it is on. This generally defines the base nature of many of the puzzles as you’ll need to determine how to make use of these changes to make it through obstacles. Whether that’s turning water to ice to act as a platform, creating large snowballs to make use of, or causing explosions you’ll need to experiment and apply a variety of techniques to progress. The majority of the time success comes down to carefully positioning each character and then carefully working through a sequence to solve each puzzle. This obviously works best with 2 people each controlling a character independently but for the most part playing the game solo and alternating between them is perfectly fine, just perhaps a bit slower and more cumbersome. In general the the challenge is in understanding what you need to do and not so much on precision execution, which I do appreciate since it also makes the experience more accessible than what I’ve typically played in this space, though that may also make it feel too easy for more experienced partners. As a whole Degrees of Separation is a gorgeous game, with a smart hook, that does a great job of exploring the possibilities of its premise fully. Erring on the side of being approachable to gamers of all skill levels its puzzles are more about planning than execution, but it’s possible that could also make it feel easier than the norm depending on your tastes. Whether solo or with a friend it has some clever ideas and is a pleasant experience throughout.
Justin Nation, Score: