“Hole Punch!” by JUSTCAMH & ClockMaker.
“Carve up the environment to defeat enemies and navigate the world!”
The first version of the stealth physics title “Hole Punch!” came out back in February 2020 for the Brackeys Game Jam 2020.1, but since then it has been consistently worked on – with great success, I have to say! Not only have a bunch of new levels been added, but also has the audiovisual representation been ever-so-slightly improved. Also, elementary functionalities like skipping passages have been added too. You can really feel how the gameplay itself has become more and more the focus of the creators: After building a well-functioning basic concept, the constant polishing and optimization process follows.
This is especially evident in the implementation of the main mechanic, namely the cutting up of the game environment. This just feels so satisfyingly smooth! By separating parts of the terrain from each other, you can either restrict the view of armed guards or eliminate them altogether by having heavy slabs of earth fall down on their heads. You would think that such gameplay would be completely exhausted pretty quickly, but the excellent level design keeps coming up with new challenges.
What I noticed after playing through “Hole Punch!” several times is that I kept wanting to try new approaches. For example, at one point I took a pacifist approach to kill as few of my opponents as possible, and at another time I focused on playing through as quickly as possible. Completely devoid of any form of external rewards or achievements, this jam submission was able to motivate me to keep playing in new ways, and that actually is a very rare accomplishment. [PLAY]