Review: The Pedestrian

  • Version Played: Xbox Series S

I was expecting a simple platformer, the novel concept of running through signs seemed interesting, but I had no idea that the simple idea was such an important part of the gameplay itself.

You play as a stickman – the generic kind you see on various signs (like the toilet sign). You run through signs and complete puzzles. At any time you can “pause” the game and are able to move some of the signs around, and connect doors and ladders together (they have to be facing opposite directions). Manipulating the signs and doors in this way is the main core of the puzzles, and the game will introduce new elements as you progress.

I don’t want to go into too much detail due to spoilers, but I thought a lot of the puzzles were taxing, but it never got to the point where I felt like giving up. There’s a lot of clever ideas and solutions, and for the more complex puzzles I didn’t think “finally” or “that was stupidly obvious”, my response when finding a solution was “that was cool”.

The concept of the game also makes more sense when you start to interact with the world beyond the signs. There’s an early section where you encounter a shut door, and only when you manipulate the lift the sign is inside (by activating buttons on the sign) and move it upwards can you continue.

The fascinating thing is that the game explains all these complex actions without any dialogue or text. Everything is explained via symbols and pictures, with new sections having very basic puzzles to explain by making you do something. I never felt confused as to what I had to do, and it gets its mechanics across to the player in a surprisingly clear way.

If I had any complaints about The Pedestrian, it’s that the last level is short. The mechanic introduced there felt like it would have a lot of possibilities and I really wanted more puzzles using it.

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