She Remembered Caterpillars is Beautifully Accessible
A ‘fungipunk’ fantasy with an intriguing, exotic setting await players in one of the most satisfying puzzlers in years. She Remembered Caterpillars is all about combining adorable little fungus friends, matching colors and shapes to gates and bridges, and finding out what caused the world to get to the state it’s in. The game does an excellent job of easing new players into new mechanics, and mercilessly using them in quick combinations to stretch thinking pattern. The game does revolve around colors matching to key features but combines them with shapes and designs to not only further their artistic vision of the world, but also make the game accessible.
The core mechanics of She Remembered Caterpillars is about getting creatures called Gammies through the level and onto the goals, one fungus creature per landing pad. The game only requires simple clicks from the player to move from one spot to the next. Obstacles block paths, such as gates that won’t allow a certain style of Gammie to pass through and caterpillar bridges that will only allow one type of Gammie to pass. After only a few levels, combining Gammies to bypass bridges and gates take the difficulty to a new level. More and more mechanics are added as the game progresses, requiring multiple step processes to complete each level. The game doesn’t punish the player for making mistakes, and none of the levels are timed. The player has as much time as needed to absorb the environment, taking in the soothing music, alongside unique art styles. Thankfully, the design of the Gammies and color combining mechanics doesn’t interfere with colorblind accessibility, since not only do the colors combine but look and shape of the creatures combine as well. The same patterns match across the level, Gammies to obstacles, making the game simple to process. It’s taking the infant-style puzzle of round pegs into round holes, turning it into world where you need to figure out the best way to blend a hexagon peg an arch peg to get through the hexagon-arch gate, at which you need to then bring the square peg and combine that with the arch peg to cross the square-arch bridge.
The mysteries of how these fungus creatures exist work hand in hand alongside a story told between levels, drawing players deeper into both the mystery and the mechanics. While the difficulties increase and the enigmas deepen, the game never puts anything in front of you that you can’t defeat. As I progressed, the time I spent on each level increased but so did my intrigue. I’m not the best at puzzle games, but the story and the world kept me going far past my normal breaking points on puzzle games like this. She Remembered Caterpillars is one of the outstanding examples of intentional accessible design not compromising original artistic ideas.
Highly Recommended. Check it out.