PAX East 2014: Press Play Announce Project Totem

Microsoft developer Press Play announces their upcoming game: Project Totem.

This weekend at PAX, Max Curse of Brotherhood creators Press Play announced a new Xbox One title. Currently known as Project Totem, it’s an innovative puzzle game featuring stacking, multi-colored totems.

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Project Totem is still in Alpha, and the developers showed off two different game modes: single player and multiplayer co-op. While both modes involved totem stacking, they exercised the mechanic in two distinctive ways.

In single player, you control two different colored totems. A totem head can only move through a like colored space, and puzzles are formed through gravity and swapping the totems. In the PAX demo there was a specific scene where you had to quickly swap totems while falling through a maze of switching color. While the puzzles were challenging overall, the checkpoints were incredibly forgiving and quickly got you back into the game.

The cooperative multiplayer mode utilizes a different mechanic entirely. Each player controls two totem heads, and each player has their own distinctive color. To save on the confusion it would undoubtedly cause, there is no swapping. Instead, these puzzles require you to work together moving through a brightly colored landscape, avoiding falling into the wrong color and helping your partner move forward. While the co-op mode brought its own challenges, I found it easier overall. There were no speed puzzles, so it was all dependent on how well you worked with your partner.

Overall, the game had several interesting developments. Since it’s still in a relatively early stage of development, it will be interesting to see how play and a potential story evolves over time. The scheduled release for Project Totem is Fall of this year, on Xbox One and 360.


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