REVIEW / Constant C (Xbox 360)

Constant C is a 2-D puzzle platformer that is basically one part Limbo (graphical style-wise) and Super Meat Boy (super crazy difficulty plus saws that are in a space station for some reason). You, the gamer, play as The Rescue Robot who suddenly awakens in a desolate space station where time has stopped completely. Along with your computer friend A.I (who has the funniest facial expressions when they talk), you set out to find out what the hell happened and where all the scientists have gone. Throughout a majority of the levels in Constant C, you will find Storage Devices that let you advance to new areas and unlock videos for A.I. to play that explain the game’s backstory.

The C stands for "Cute, cuddly, and consistent death"

The gameplay in Constant C is fairly simple to learn, but difficult to master: you can move left and right, jump, and can cause certain objects to become unfrozen in time with your 4-Dimensional Stabilizer Field (it is basically a circle around your body that causes time to flow). Anything caught within your Time Circle will start moving again, like conveyor belts, lasers, boxes suspended in midair, and really sharp saws. Pretty early on, you will gain the ability to flip gravity either clockwise, counterclockwise, or upside down. Going from one flip to another has a small delay, which is tough to nail down consistently. Utilizing both gravity and the Time Circle in tandem is the essence of Constant C, and the game will waste no time making you think on your feet and handing you your ass with some of its puzzles.

There is an Achievement for dying 150 times, and it is because of bullshit like this, swear to God

As cute and adorable as the characters in Constant C are, the title is by no means friendly: it is incredibly difficult; almost infuriatingly so. Some of the puzzles are absolutely ridiculous, and will require you to change gravity multiple times in midair, dodging saws and lasers before you grind to a halt in front of the levels’ exits. Expect to die A LOT. There are no lives, thankfully, and when you do complete a level while blocking lasers with giant balls and boxes and shifting gravity at least ten times, you feel SUPERHUMAN. Also a godsend is the fact that if you collect a Storage Device within a stage and die before reaching an exit, you will have it on you when you start the stage over and won’t have to collect it twice.

Why would scientists build a room like this? WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE?!

Graphics-wise, Constant C is very much “Limbo With Robots.” The Rescue Robot and a later foe/ally who shall remain nameless are cast in a dark shadow and explode horrifically upon laser burn, moving saw, and box squish (though Limbo had the unsettling factor that you were playing as a YOUNG CHILD). The music in Constant C is appropriately spacey, with boops and beeps and synth BWAHS. The story is fleshed out through the use of videos that can be played through A.I. when you collect enough Storage Devices, which outline an experiment named The Superluminal Project the scientists on board the station were working on. These videos are often humorous and fun to watch, as well as informative, though expect to do a lot of reading; no voice acting to speak of here.

A.I. has the greatest faces in the entire game

Constant C isn’t without some minor issues: for one, collecting Storage Devices requires The Rescue Robot to hover on it for a few seconds. If you are holding a direction to walk in while this happens, your machine buddy won’t move unless you let go of the stick and press the direction again. Falling from a tall height will kill you upon impact unless you switch gravity to soften the descent, but sometimes it will feel like you fell a short enough distance and you’ll end up exploding anyway. At times, you will barely step foot in a small enough space between two boxes and detonate, as well. Minor annoyances, but hindrances nonetheless. You can become stuck with no way out if you screw something up, but thankfully pressing the Back button will restart the level.

Despite these problems, Constant C is a fun, unique, solid platformer that taxes your brain and tests your reflexes. It is often amusing and you will want to see it through to its end, while learning about the history of the space station and the fate of The Rescue Robot and company. It has over 100 levels, but doesn’t wear out its welcome, feeling just right. The level select will always indicate if an all important Storage Device is located within the highlighted stage and players can expand each area at any time to see its entire layout. Imaginative and recommended, but brutally unforgiving, Constant C will test your patience but have you smiling upon each level’s completion.

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