Words fail me when trying to describe Coffee Pot Terrarium by the Brothers Flint. Labeled both as a puzzle and a turn-based tactics game, it really fully isn’t either of these things. It’s a mystery for the player to solve. However, figuring out what it is and how it works may just be part of the game mechanics.
Here’s what I know: you wander around levels made up of tiles. There are enemies that follow specific paths or chase you. You can only interact with the environment by raising tiles to build new paths or lowering tiles. Dropping enemies off the map this way is your only means of getting rid of them and consequently completing the level. However, if you’re not careful, you will accidentally drop yourself into the abyss.
These are the basic facts, but actually applying them is a whole different story. While I still find myself utterly confused by some of the game mechanics, the gorgeous art style and enigmatic atmosphere more than make up for it. Coffee Pot Terrarium is a lovely game, and if figuring out how things work is just as important to you as making them work, you have to play it.
Coffee Pot Terrarium is available for $11.99 directly from the developers or on Steam. For more information on the game and the Brothers Flint, you can follow them on Twitter or visit their website.