42 Light Years takes a different approach to puzzling

Katie Williams at

Will we discover the meaning of life within this eerie alien world? If the rather arresting concept art didn't strike you, what if I told you that you could solve puzzles by encasing yourself in a time-manipulation sphere so that you could evolve at turbo-speed and employ Future You's skills right now? Yeah—42 Light Years is looking to be pretty special indeed.

The interstellar concept comes by way of Huxi Games, a Guatemalan studio envisioning a sidescrolling platformer that's at once casual and tense, inviting but loaded with mystery. In the below trailer, a tree's natural death is expedited, with its fallen trunk allowing the player to bridge an otherwise impassable gap. When he comes to a broken footbridge, though, he can reverse the hours till before it crumbled into the river beneath.

The demonstrated gameplay is obviously in very early stages, what with the placeholder stick-man and the simple puzzles, but there's a lot of potential in the idea—can that prototype eventually morph into something as stunning as its art? Will 42 Light Years reach the stars? Huxi Games are running a crowdfunding campaign in the hopes of cobbling together $9,000 to fund development on both PC and smartphones. If funded, they ambitiously plan to complete development within three months. With even the lowest tier snagging you a copy of the game for $5, it's not too much of a gamble for something promising so convincingly to be gorgeous.