English Country Tune

English Country Tune Review

English Country Tune Review

Caught in a jam.

Few video game titles are as misleading as English Country Tune. It's not a music game, doesn't contain anything even remotely close to a country song (English or otherwise), nor is there any narrative to provide context. Instead, the first commercial release by prolific indie powerhouse Stephen "Increpare" Lavelle is a fiendishly difficult spatial puzzler that switches up its mechanics at a dizzying rate, making it nearly a dozen puzzle games in one.

Initially, you control a flat panel flipping over tiles in an effort to push spheres called "larva" into incubators. Trouble is, their gravitational pull is relative to the angle at which you knock them. Positioning larva in the right place with the correct trajectory is easier said than done and the challenge ramps up significantly by the second set of levels.

Once you've gotten the hang of that, it's on to new objectives, pushing cubes called "whales" off the edge of the map. Whales cannot be moved directly and instead emit beams of light from their six surfaces, which must be pushed to move their source. Next up are "garden" stages, where your goal is to plant cubes of grass upon soil by covering every tile without retracing your steps. Before long you'll be doing all of these in 3D, then asked to combine multiple mechanics in the same stage.

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