After becoming trapped in an ancient temple during an expedition, the unfortunate Mr. Paf – Mr. Whack to our French chums – is tasked with solving block-shoving puzzles to escape.
This cartoon puzzler is viewed from an isometric angle, and also features platforming. It’s smartly designed and visually appealing with cutscenes that frequently impress. Monsieur Paf thunders around using his muscles to manipulate blocks, smash statues and throw objects to complete the puzzles around him. If you’re a fan of Sokoban you’ll be in your element here.
From moving around platforms to create impromptu sets of stairs to sliding monuments into place to drain water hazards, nothing is too strenuous for the likeable lead.
The tutorial breaks you in gently, featuring engravings of the controller layout etched into the wall, and is well-designed by being not too text-heavy. It isn’t long until the levels become more complex and multi-layered, raising the difficulty. As Mr. Paf cannot die, it’s a simple case of try, try, again. Gears appear throughout the levels which unlock more temple doors, ushering Mr. Paf closer to finding the temple’s exit.
Due to the game’s perspective the controls are initially confusing – up is mapped to the ‘d’ key, which is more commonly used to move right. Things are easier with a controller, but even so, sometimes when moving upwards our muscular Monsieur would move diagonally right instead. Shoving blocks around – the game’s core mechanic – is a lot easier, thankfully.
This is an enjoyable game that’s surprisingly stress-free, and like all good puzzlers, it’s very easy to jump in and out of. Come back after a day or two, or even a week, and the path ahead will always be immediately obvious.
The sound effects are worthy of a mention too – they are very crisp and pleasing, including the crunching of rubble and rustle of leaves and bushes. Listen carefully and every so often you can hear birds chirping in the distance.
True to its name, I think a lot of people would thoroughly enjoy this puzzler. It’s well designed and has an eye-catching style. Best of all, it’s possible to enjoy it at your own pace.
An Interesting Journey of Monsieur PAF is out now on Steam.