SHE REMEMBERED CATERPILLARS
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on March 27, 2019
Two years ago I visited a neat gaming event called ScreenShake in Antwerp, Belgium. At that time, a game called 'She Remembered Caterpillars' was just released for PC and, lucky for me, was playable during this event. Naturally, I gave the game a go and very much liked what I saw. Now, two years later, not only there is a PC version of this puzzle game, but it's also making its way onto the Nintendo Switch!
She Remembered Caterpillars stands out from the crowd because of its beautiful art style and the tranquil feel that permeates every aspect of the game. Especially during something hectic like a game event, it's games like these that manage to attract my attention. During these days of crazy rides and action-filled games, it's really nice to have a moment of peace and that's exactly what this game offers.
She Remembered Caterpillars is a puzzle game in which you need to lead one or more tiny creatures, called Gammies, to little white platforms, one for each Gammy in the level. If all the Gammies are on such a platform at the same time, they will fly away and the level is completed. Sounds simple enough, right? So, let's make it a bit trickier by adding a set of rules. The Gammies come in primary colors: red, yellow or blue. Every color creature can walk across all the platforms freely, but there's a catch. To get from one platform to the next, you'll have to cross a bridge. And not any old bridge, mind you; these bridges are actually caterpillars, which also come in various colors. During the first couple of levels these caterpillars will only come in primary colors, same as the Gammies. Now, a blue creature can cross a blue caterpillar, but a red creature can't, so that complicates things a little.
And that's not all the developers came up with. Later on in the game, two identically colored columns are sometimes placed at both sides of a path, effectively forming a gate. The color of this gate determines which color Gammies can pass through them. Now, you might think this works in the same way as crossing a caterpillar, but then you would be wrong. It actually works the other way around; a blue Gammy can't pass through a blue gate, but a yellow or red one can. So, it's all good and well if your blue Gammy wants to cross a blue caterpillar, but if the road on the other side is adorned with a blue gate, that Gammy is still stuck.
So, caterpillars and gates; is that all? The answer to that, my friends, is unequivocally: no! If there are Gammies in three primary colors, what's the first thing you could do? That's right, you can join two Gammies together to form one Gammy of a secondary color. Why would you want to do that? Well, simple; you'll not only want to do this; you'll actually need to do so if you want to make it through the game. You see, as you get further and further, the caterpillars will also come in secondary colors. So if you, for instance, need to cross an orange caterpillar bridge, you'll have to combine a red and yellow Gammy and turn them into one orange Gammy in order to get to the other side.
The best thing about color-mixing Gammies is that this also comes with its own set of rules. Take, for instance, our lovely orange Gammy. It can walk across an orange caterpillar bridge, as I've just described. But here comes the kicker. It can also walk across caterpillars in one of the two primary colors that make up its own secondary color. So, effectively, an orange Gammy can walk across orange, red and yellow caterpillars. On the other hand, a single yellow or red Gammy cannot cross an orange bridge without the help of a second Gammy to mix with. And don't think for a second that gates are going to be any easier to negotiate when mixing colors. Even if you combine a yellow Gammy with a red one, the resulting orange Gammy still can't walk through a yellow gate. If the color of a gate is identical to that of one of the two combined Gammies, it will still stop you.
And the fun doesn't stop there. As you progress through the game, more and more elements will be added to the mix to increase the challenge, like switches a Gammy will have to stand on in order to create a path between two platforms. Another awesome feature is that She Remembered Caterpillars, although it is brightly colored, can be played by colorblind people. You see, each color caterpillar or gate is also adorned with drawings of a certain shape, consistent with the shape of Gammy of the same color. If you mix Gammies, their shape changes and this shape is also used on Caterpillars or gates of the same mix color. How awesome is that? Also, there is a touching backstory to the game that is being revealed bit by bit through snippets of text that are shown in between the levels, which perfectly fits the overall look and feel of the game, completing the entire experience!
For me, Act 1 of She Remembered Caterpillars was perfectly manageable to complete. I had to think ahead of course, but it was definitely doable. From Act 2, however, things get a bit more tricky to solve and I got stuck more than once. I also notice that, sometimes, putting away the game and picking it up again later was a good tactic. There were a couple of times that I actually thought the developers had made a mistake and the puzzle at hand just wasn't solvable. But then, after I put down the game for a while and continued later on with a fresh perspective, I almost immediately saw what the solution was. (Sorry for thinking you made a mistake developers!) This just goes to show that, sometimes, you'll have to approach a problem from a different angle to arrive at the solution you need.
So, let me conclude my review by saying that it was really, really fun to play She Remembered Caterpillars. My husband and I actually played it separately at first and kept telling each other which level we just solved, so the game even started a bit of a friendly competition at home. But we also curled up on the couch and tried to complete the levels together, because two brains know more than one. Now, I realize that this might not be a game for every gamer out there, but I'm more than sure that there are a lot of us out there who would just love to get the chance to play this beautiful and thoroughly challenging game. I, for one, will surely remember She Remembered Caterpillars very fondly!