Well, isn’t this a nice surprise. Some 13 years after it first released as a Flash game on web browsers, Patrick Smith’s delightful Windosill has arrived on Switch, giving players a fresh chance to experience this breezy, playful, and rather magical little journey through a series of enchanting puzzles.
Windosill’s unique aesthetic has very obviously influenced the art style of the likes of Donut County and Monument Valley, and it’s not too hard to see why other indie titles chose to look to this game for inspiration in the years following its original release. The wonderfully laid-back and often trippy vibe here elevates what is actually a rather simple and short experience — you can blast through it all in less than an hour — into something that really does have the power to stay with you long after you’ve completed its charming collection of challenges.
As much as the painterly puzzles on offer in Windosill can give you pause for thought here and there, too, this is a game that’s 100% more focused on relaxation, exploration, and fun surprises. It’s all about investigating and toying with your surroundings, revelling in how tactile and responsive everything is as you work to find the little cube you need to open a door and trundle your cute toy car into the next room.
The wonderful art style, surreal puzzle set-ups, and chilled nature of this one haven’t been dulled one bit by the passage of time either, and reworked controls that let you use your Joy-Con or the touchscreen to muck with puzzles elements make it a perfect fit for Nintendo’s console. You’re also getting a couple of bonuses here in the form of multiplayer where two people can work together with a Joy-Con each (perfect to play through with a younger gamer) and an unlockable Dynamic Gravity mode that you can activate once you’ve beaten the game, allowing you to tool around with gyroscopic controls on a second run.
Yes, fans of proper puzzlers may find some of the solutions and overall level of challenge here a little disappointing due to their more surreal and playful nature. There are only one or two — including a very clever Rube Goldberg machine — that will really make you work something out logically, but that’s not really what Windosill is getting at. This is a wonderful, dreamy little slice of art that sucks you into its colourful toybox world and lets you drift away for the short amount of time it’ll take you to see it through to its end.