This is not a game for people who have 700 hours logged in Counter-Strike. The cursor is the size of an Action Man’s head. The music and visual style is so saccharine it could give you diabetes. And the menus are so bright and accessible a man with no face could navigate them. Create is a physics-based casual puzzle game: fun, charming, polished, and unlikely to hold your attention for more than a few hours.
Each 3D landscape has a series of attached challenges that require you to use assorted objects to solve physics puzzles. You bring it to life with textures, decorative objects and stickers. For example: you have to propel a car through a flaming hoop across a gap. You grab a ramp from your ever-growing inventory of oddball items, position it beside the chasm, then hit the ‘play’ button. The vignette starts to play out, your car hits the ramp, goes through the loop and you receive Sparks, the currency required to unlock new items and progress through levels.
That’s about as complicated as it gets. It’s like Photoshop for idiots: big, fat paintbrushes, drag-and-drop props and easy to navigate palettes stuffed with textures and colours to smear your creation with. You can also do things like set the weather and change the sky, all through dunce-proof menus.
Things get disarmingly complicated later on. The basic solution is always easy, but there are bonus Sparks that require cunning use of objects to collect. You might find yourself attaching a balloon to a car and using fans to blow it around the level, or guiding a motorcycle through flaming hoops using moving ramps that roll away.
It can be weirdly compelling. I regularly found myself peering into my monitor, tongue hanging out, piecing together a bridge from blocks or carefully resizing trees. It’s just a shame your creativity is limited to a relatively small area of the screen, and your creations are so hamstrung by the layout of the level. A concession to gurgling, easily-confused toddlers, to whom Create, sadly, will appeal the most.
Disappointingly, for a game called ‘Create’ I didn’t get many opportunities to use my imagination. You won’t see people excitedly sharing things they’ve made on YouTube, because it’s hard to create something and make it distinctly your own. You feel like you’re creating by proxy; a slave to the developers’ imaginations, rather than getting to use your own.
It’s cute, and it works, but you’ll have a hard time detaching yourself from the fact that it’s a bit too simple. Devs EA Bright Light should be applauded for creating something genuinely fun and accessible, and which will fire young imaginations, but you’ll yearn for something more. The slow pace and mass of tutorials wore my patience thin.
A charming physics puzzler that’s ultimately too lightweight for grown-ups. Your little brother will love it, though.