This is a screenshot of the video game Paragon, featuring the player's ball on a rail in the lower left. There are gems in various locations around the level.

Paragon Review

Genre | Puzzle
Developer | [-BipolarDesign+]
Platforms | PC
Website | http://bipolardesign.itch.io/paragon

Paragon is a puzzle game in which the player directs a sphere around levels in order to collect gems and gold. The player can only control the sphere when it is moving along the various rails of the level. The player controls the sphere by launching it in one of the two directions perpendicular to its movement along the rail.  Encountering spikes causes the sphere to be destroyed, at which point the player must restart the level. The player beats a level when all gems are collected.

Paragon features four worlds with five levels per world, three star rankings per level, one collectible flower per level, four colors of gems, three colors of gold coins, two colors of gold idols, one kind of obstacle, one beetle per level, and force fields. While on a rail, if undisturbed, the ball travels in one direction until it hits a wall and reverses, hits a spike and is destroyed, or flies off the rail and continues moving in a straight line. The player can launch the ball in either direction off of the rail with a button press or a mouse click in the desired direction of movement.

The player begins each level with a rating of three stars. When the ball reaches the end of a rail and bounces, this increases the player’s score by one. Reaching a certain score on each level reduces the player’s rating to two stars and then to one star. To beat a level and earn three stars the player must either complete the level by quickly executing a series of maneuvers that bring them to the end of the level in a short period of time, or by constantly launching the ball away from the rail before it hits the end so as to prevent it from ever impacting the end of the rail and adding to the score.

The graphics in Paragon are in a pixel art style. They depict walls, force fields, gems, the ball, and backgrounds, all of which are in the style of Mesoamerican ruins. The sounds in Paragon include a bouncing noise the ball makes when it hits a wall and a bloop noise the ball makes when it collects gems. The music in Paragon is in an electronic industrial post-punk style and dynamically alters depending on how many gems the player has collected.

Levels in Paragon feature force fields that turn on and off at set intervals. The player often must time their actions so as to bounce the ball off of force fields rather than hitting spikes, or pass through force fields so as to progress, or pass through force fields then bounce back and impact the force field to collect gems. Some gems are placed at the end of long passages. To collect them the player must launch the ball and wait for it to bounce down the passage. If they do not collect all the gems they must try again. Some levels in Paragon feature rails that, if the player remains on them, eventually send the ball into spikes. This requires the player to keep launch the ball from the rails before they hit the spikes, sometimes multiple times in a row if multiple rails end in spikes.

This is a score for an objective game review. The score is an 8 out of 10.