Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Education
System: Nintendo Switch (also on iOS and Steam (Windows and Mac))
Developer | Publisher: Vectorpark
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US E
Price: UK £8.99 | EU € 9,99 | US $9.99
Release date: November 11th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Vectorpark
Windosill has made its way to the Switch. Not a new game, as it has been out on various platforms for some years since 2009 in fact. You can play it in the iOS App Store and on Steam, and now Patrick Smith, the sole developer behind Vectorpark, adapts it to suit the Switch. And in doing so, has added multiplayer and rumble, dynamic gravity mode and a bonus gallery of Windosill related artwork, made by Patrick. It’s my first time playing it, so let’s see what it’s all about!
You are thrown into darkness without a tutorial or written text. You see some vague shapes, and as there is nothing else to do, you’ll soon be pressing on those shapes.
Pinpoint shapes appear, and it’s when you pull the light chord you see where you are. You find yourself in a cupboard of sorts, and in every cubicle, there is a toy. All of them make noise when you touch them, or make your Switch rumble, give off coloured effects and whatnot. No voices, no humanoid characters, aside from the little guy who sometimes appears in one of the many toys you see on your screen. Pretty soon though it becomes clear that when you put the little white block in the square hole in the site of the cubicle, your little toy train can putter through the opened door. Off to the next vista.
Flick, Pull and Press
The aim of Windosill is to get your little toy train through the door on the other end of the screen in a total of eleven rooms. And in each room, you are totally left to your own devices. Despite it being a puzzle game, the puzzles aren’t the main focus of Windosill. It’s a short game, I’d even say very short. That is if you rush from a to b and solve the puzzles as quickly as you can. But that is not the point of Windosill.
You need to sit down with your youngster on your lap and press on everything and anything. Flick the shapes, move them about, pull them back and forth and see if the shapes fit in the holes you see. See what happens, feel it too through the rumble system and hear the sound effects. As I didn’t have a youngster to play it with I can testify that it works for an imaginative adult too.
Touch, Listen and Rumble
You can control the game with buttons in handheld, but that didn’t work very well for me, much too fiddly. Using the touchscreen worked perfectly, however. I couldn’t help but think that Windosill would have been lovely on the 3DS too! With the stylus, it would have been a ball. You can also play the game with a friend or child, using two joy cons.
The sound effects and rumble are great, and the visuals are a joy. Those three elements are what makes the game so immersive.
Windosill is fun and unexpected and you can let your imagination run wild. Don’t rush through it to solve the puzzles but take time to try it all. It’s short, if you rush through it, very short. But as I already highlighted that’s not the point of Windosill. Your child in your lap, trying it all out together and marvelling at what you see, hear and feel. That’s how it should be played.
The price for the Switch version is higher in comparison to the iOS and Steam versions. But the game isn’t just ported, it is fully adapted for the Switch. It now has multiplayer added and a collection of lovely sketches from the developer. Having said that, it’s still an experience that I wished had lasted longer!
Final verdict: Two Thumbs Up