I had a crap day at work yesterday. Sometimes the daily grind just beats you down and with a long weekend coming up you just want to get past all of the pressure of deadlines and the stress that comes with it. When I finally got home I just wanted to relax with a few video games that I could lose myself in. That's when I started playing Expand and within minutes the real world melted away and I had a stupid grin that I couldn't get off my face.
Expand is the perfect game to play when you're done using your brain for a while and you want to unwind. That's not to say that it doesn't have some challenges, but it's a testament to the intuitiveness of the game that without using any flashy visual cues it gently nudges the player in the right direction.
Every time you start thinking "I've seen this before" or "there's not much else you can do with circles" the game surprises you time and time again. True to it's name, I got to the point where I was just there for the ride, happy to take on each obstacle as it came up while always being observant of the environment. It really is an expanding of the mind experience.
You could draw some parallels to fellow indie darling Thomas Was Alone based on screenshots but as soon as you see the game in motion it's a different story. With some out of the box thinking in game design and a fluidity in implementation, it's incredible what a single guy can do with a square.
While Chris Johnson is the brains behind the operation, Chris Larkin should also be commended for his composing of the truly beautiful piano that accompanies the game. In the same week that I played Assault Android Cactus, it's obvious that there are some extremely talented composers working in the Australian indie scene.
If I had to summarise Expand in a few short words it would be this. Beautiful. Elegant. Seamless. Intuitive. Buy it now on Steam for $5.99USD and settle in for a relaxing few hours.