2D puzzle platforming adventure with a heavy story about life and psychology told without words.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (42 reviews) - 66% of the 42 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 8, 2014

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About This Game

Bliss is a quiet and subtle puzzle platforming adventure.

Always searching for what he didn't have; the man climbed a mountain his entire life just to find himself alone at the top with a view of all the mistakes he made along the way.

In Bliss you are a shadow trapped in a strange world constructed from someone's memories. The world is infected with dark creatures that you have to remove before you can proceed. To your disposal you have a boomerang and a stopwatch that can freeze time.

Each level represents a period of a certain person's life as well as a stage in the Kübler Ross model (the five stages of grief).

* Challenging gameplay & little hand holding
* 5 unique levels
* 4 unique bosses
* Challenge mode for each boss
* Steam achievements
* Heavy but subtle story told without words

The game is played with a mouse and keyboard.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 1.5GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 5 years old or newer
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requires mouse and keyboard.
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (42 reviews)
Recently Posted
Arno
( 8.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 19
Bullet points
  • Precision platformer with moderate puzzle platforming
  • Novel mouse-based control mechanics
  • Undertone storyline reflected in the levels' different art styles
Full review

Resetting expectations

It's somewhat significant that I liked this game as much as I did, since it's got a few strikes against it in terms of what I personally tend to like. I don't usually like super-precise platformers, and I especially don't like games that demand razor-sharp execution and then don't hold up their end of the deal by providing razor-sharp controls. To be clear: the controls in Bliss don't appear to be buggy or poorly coded; I believe that they are responding exactly the way the developer intended, I just don't agree with his design decisions. :)

But despite that, Bliss brings out enough platforming joy that it outweighs the controls. In fact, given the novel control mechanics it introduces, it's possible that the "floaty" jumps are a necessary evil (more explanation of that point later). And that's the difference between how I see it versus something like Super Meat Boy. As much as I can't stand to play Super Meat Boy, its controls are as tight as its gameplay and so it deserves its accolades; I don't like Super Meat Boy's gameplay, but I respect it. Bliss is the opposite: I can't respect the gameplay of a precision platformer where you float in the air like a balloon when you jump, and slip of the edges of platforms...but somehow I like it anyway. The game's just charming.

Mouse and keyboard...WTF?!

One thing that really threw me for a loop was the mouse and keyboard requirement; for a platformer, that just doesn't make sense. In fact, the first time I played this game I broke out AntiMicro and made a controller profile within 60 seconds of starting the first level. Now, normally I'd fully stand by that decision, but as it turns out with Bliss...it's not that simple. Turns out, there's a reason that all the reviews (that I read, anyway) that go on a tirade about requiring mouse and keyboard don't have that long of a play time and don't sound like they finished the game.

I don't play that many platformers so maybe this is just new to me, but this is the most important part of Bliss, and what makes it not just any other indie platformer (at which point it'd still be a good game, but not what I'd call noteworthy). This is probably what's going to make or break the game for a given player, and I bet is the lion's share of what a lot of the reviews that say the gameplay is super frustrating are talking about (and believe me, I felt it too on quite a few occasions!).

[The following paragraph contains minor spoilers, strictly about the nature of gameplay mechanics.]

The thing is, later in the game Bliss introduces a gameplay mechanic where you use the mouse to target things on the screen, independently of your avatar's platforming movement. In fact, eventually you'll have to navigate situations where you'll be controlling your avatar's platforming with your keyboard hand, while simultaneously performing targeting actions with your mouse hand; it's like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time.

Because of the above, I have to say I agree with the author; the game requires a mouse and keyboard to play, not based on whether the engine supports it or not but because of the gameplay itself. That's also one reason why I wonder if the floatiness of the platforming is actually advantageous; it gives your brain more time to process the additional stuff you have to deal with.

If you really want to play with a controller (pro tip: don't) then you'll need something with dual analog sticks (or a Steam Controller) and a program like AntiMicro to handle the mappings. That's what I did the first time I played, and the game itself worked just fine with it...but eventually the controller became Not The Right Tool For The Job(tm). Unfortunately, I think I had a really bad time from then on, because I hadn't been building muscle memory for the "real" controls and thus I had a huge difficulty spike on top of the existing difficulty increase of the game itself in the later levels where this really became an issue.

And it's also a puzzle platformer

While the vast majority of the levels/bosses in the game require moderate to high precision platforming (with a few moments requiring extreme precision), it's not just about the action; the gameplay is broken up into "scenes" (most of which are a single screen, but not always) which usually require some amount of puzzle-solving. For the most part, the puzzle level is pretty low, but there were a few scenes that left me scratching my head for a bit. All in all, though, Bliss stands a lot stronger on its action than its puzzles.

A side note about reported play time

On a side note, you may see that Steam shows 8.8 hours played at the time of this review, while my metadata at the bottom says I've only played 6 hours. This is because I played a while a long time ago and got a bit frustrated and left it. In the interim, my hard drive crashed and I lost my save game; I played through the whole game from the beginning today and that's where the 6 hour figure comes from; it actually took 5.3 hours (I can tell because that's my "last two weeks" play time), and then I rounded up to 6 to account for the time I didn't spend figuring out puzzles this time because I remembered the solutions from my previous (partial) play-through.

If you like this game, check out...
Review metadata

Date of update Time played How far in base game (estimate)? Cost Cost per hour Notes
2016-06-19 21:54 6 hours Campaign 100% complete, no "challenge boss fights" $4.99 USD $0.83 USD Initial review
Helpful? Yes No Funny
alekpixi
( 2.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 6
Good concept, great soundtrack. Puzzles are either laughably easy or incredibly difficult, not really any middle ground. Alright pacing for introducing new methods and objects.
But holy s---, the controls are ATROCIOUS. Even after figuring out the puzzle, I'll often need 5-10 tries just to get it right, because the controls are so terrible. It makes the game much more frustrating than it needs to be.
Also, the butterfly lighting up the screen in the Denial stages? Good on paper, horrible in action. Jesus ♥♥♥♥ing christ I hate it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Morphy
( 7.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 20
A fun 2D puzzle platformer similar to Braid. In this one you can stop time, not go backwards. Fairly short but still a good few hours of gameplay and there are some harder boss fights to complete once completing then in the campaign. Pretty well made game. I think you will like this if you're a fan of Braid.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Calle
( 5.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
A truly underestimated game. I think it was great, the music was great, and it definitely touched me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ariandel
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: February 24
As much as people seem to enjoy this game, I just really couldn't. While the graphics are whimsical and the music is atmospheric, the story itself isn't very interesting and the puzzles are barely difficult. Even the bosses aren't difficult from a "puzzle" aspect, but because of the very precise timing you need to have with some of them (specifically the Demon and Frozen Man).

Get it for cheap and you might enjoy it if you're into casual puzzle games, but if you're a heavy puzzler, this probably won't thrill you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Prof_Finn
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 20
I wanted to like this game, but it's really just frustrating on a mechanics level, It takes way too long to respawn (one time my ghost went into an orbit around the checkpoint?? what the hell!?!?!) and You're jumps are way too floaty for the game.
I didn't play it alot becasue It's just annoying (and if there's one thing aI didn't feel it was "Bliss") I like the art style.
I've played alot of Indie platformers and sorry to say this isn't worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Atheenae
( 9.8 hrs on record )
Posted: January 24
Very beautiful little game about a little boy dealing with the 5 stages of grief after the loss of his mother. It does have it's lags and glitches at some points but nothing too serious, overall very nice little game :) 8/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Cole Phelps Badge 1247
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: January 12
Underrated! This game is brilliantly dark but with an overall positive outlook on life? Maybe? Regardless of that I love this game. A semi-simple to maneuver platformer with a surprisingly challenging twist on it. I am horrible at explaining things, just check this game out, it's pretty sublime.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Stooart
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: October 4, 2015
I really wanted to like this game at first with it's soothing music and pretty graphics but after having another few attempts, I found myself more stressed than relaxed due to the split second timing you have to do when stopping time. It's not bad but other games with time manipulation can give you a good feeling when you do something right, this just feels like your "pausing" the game just to progress. I could be too hasty at the moment as I haven't put a lot of time into it, but that was just the problem, the game did not pull me in. Also, the lack of full screen support is never a good thing and playing with the keyboard, due to the inertia, is also a pain due to no controller support! I suppose it's cheap enough but there are far better platform games on Steam.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fantasy
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: August 19, 2015
~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~
Give me all the peace and joy in your mind !
I want the peace and joy in your mind !
Give me the peace and joy in your mind !
~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~ ~*õ*~
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
21 of 28 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
I played almost an hour before writing this review. Passed the 1st part of the game (meadow).

Trial-and-error 2d Platformer.

There's no introduction, its just bam: you're in the game. While playing you'll understand what youre supposed to do.
You can walk, jump and freeze time. Thats it. (EDIT: a boomerang is added later in this game)
While time is frozen you can destroy little "heads" by jumping on them. Clearing all heads in a puzzle means the gate gets opened -> proceed to next puzzle. Its all about common sense and timing. You miss a jump or take too much time you have to start over. Luckily there are plenty of these spawn points, and always in front of a puzzle.
I think I spent about 15 minutes on one of the puzzles, dying over and over because my brain couldnt solve it (I blame the Belgian beer). Turned out to be pretty easy. Hah.

There's no text and no speech in this game. There's just some soothing and very nice background music. You could call this relaxing if there werent these annoying puzzles. Irritating, annoying, but addictive.
Could have been called Bliss: Prepare to Die.
Graphics are nice but repetitive.

Its pretty damn cool just 1 guy made this in this free time (during office hours he works for a AAA developer). I have a lot of respect for that.

The good:
- Simple controls
- Nice music
- A challenge

The ok
- Graphics. Could use some variation.

The bad
- No controller support. I like to play my platformers using a controller.
- No graphics setting option. There should be at least the option to change the resolution or play full screen.

Its an ok 2D platformer with some nice challenges. And nicely priced.
Recommend? Yes: 70/100
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
Bliss is a lovely 2D puzzle platformer with some very interesting ideas. The levels of the game are meant to represent the five stages of grief, so each level is with different music, color palette and introduces new gameplay mechanic.
Everything starts with denial - it's all sunshine and lollipops with a cheerful colors, as you learn, that you can freeze time. Confusion is next, where you can drop from the bottom of the screen and instead of dying, you come falling from the top. In Anger, angry sculls are coming to get you,when you use the freeze time. In bargaining a ripped off teddy-bear's head follows your cursor around and tries to get ya, once you freeze the time. The depression level can get depressing, as you learn to complete different tasks with each hand.
At the end of each level but denial, there is a boss waiting for you, with quite different mechanics and can be somewhat challenging. Once you defeat a boss, you can then replay it from the "main menu" (if you can call it that, the game really does not have any interface) in a "challenging" mode - a slightly changed up boss fight with pretty big increase in the difficulty.
The game saves automatically, and the checkpoints are pretty close at first and quite reasonable towards the end, and I never felt, that I'm replaying something too much. I would love to see more than 1 save slot though!
The game controls are pretty tight. I wish, that I am able to rebind them, as I died a lot, trying to jump and pressing space, but that freezes time instead :p I found the music pretty fitting for each of the levels and generally enjoyed it, especially the main theme!
Overall a pretty solid puzzle platformer - yea the game could use some polishing, like a fullscreen option and some interface elements, but I still enjoyed it and can recommend it!
I enjoyed the game so much, that I created a let's play :
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=353739105
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=353759015
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=353759014
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=353759012
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 16, 2015
First impression: amazing platformer. The art direction is impeccable, and even though it does two things I hate -- timed puzzles and spikes --, it's ok because I get to start the timer myself by pressing "space". That makes it more a game of strategy and position than one of twitch.

Basically you follow a small guy from left to right, and he has to pass doors by jumping on hairy heads while the timer runs down, which means you have to get the sequence right or you won't make it in time. The other puzzle element I've seen so far involves falling and rising blocks that stop while the timer runs down, so your aim is to stop them where they'll be most useful.

This game gives me a lot of control, taxes the left side of my brain with puzzles, and the right side with a beautiful mysterious story told without words and haunting music. Fully recommended.

(It is on sale on the Indiegala Monday bundle for a few more hours.)
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: December 11, 2014
I want to relax and play a game. I want to be stimulated and challenged. This is easily becoming my go to game when I just want to chill out. The platforming concepts are simple yet the puzzles range from "i got this" to "i hate you." It is the best of multiple worlds with an amazing soundtrack backing it. There is a deep story to be told here as well but I will leave that to you once you purchase the game.

Live playthrough to come soon.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
If you like slow-paced and somewhat challenging 2D puzzle platformers you should try this game. Beautiful music and graphics.
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11 of 19 people (58%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2015
This game really isn’t good. The starts out immediately on a bad note, game is only windowed, with no fullscreen, no controller input (for a platformer?) and you cannot rebind controls. For a pc game, those are unacceptable. You play this stick guy with a mime face and a sperm-shaped head. You run around and use this time freeze ability to jump on black heads, and use a boomerang as well. That is it, for the entire game. It is super repetitive, and 2/3 of the puzzles are just you trying to jump on all the black heads before your time stop ability timer (which is changed with each puzzle to the preset time the developer decided, which is another annoyance) runs out. I got so sick of doing the same thing every time. They say this is story heavy, but doesn’t involve words or text, but that’s b-u-l-l-s-h-i-t. There is pretend story about loss in the background, but its really just an excuse for no real story, its just about you running around and jumping on things with the same song, that only changes every hour, playing.

Bad boss fights with multiple parts where you have to start the entire thing over if you get hit once. Game crashes, which is annoying especially after a lost progress of beating a stupid boss. There are bugs, like me getting hit by fire attack from a boss that I ran past that hadn't happened yet, but still counted as being there even though it wasn't on the screen yet. Then every time you die, instead of restarting at checkpoint right away, you have to slowly float back, wasting time while you just sit there. The jumping also seems off, as you will jump expecting to land on something, but float down and land over the object. There is difficulty, but thats just because it is artificially put in by you having this set amount of time, only being able to pause once, and you have to hit a bunch of things, while jumping, while also doing other things. For a game called “bliss”, the frustratingly terrible controls, lack of normal pc options, and repetition of gameplay, this game causes anything but that while playing. 4/10.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 22, 2015
PROS:
- Each level introduces distinctively unique puzzles and new game mechanic.
- Music is decent.
- Artful game.

CONS:
- Inconsistent difficulty throughout the game (some puzzles are poorly designed.)
- User-unfriendly and minimalistic GUI and game menu for the sake of being overly artsy.
- Slow and sluggish movement and so much gliding on a platform.
- Unresponsive jump at the edges of a platform.
- minor glitches (get stuck between moving ghosts, mislocated balloon tied with an ice spike, boomerang can launch you to somewhere off-screen; all very rare issues but when any of this happens, exiting the game is the only way of fixing it.)

. RECOMMENDED .
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 20
I wanted to like this game, but it's really just frustrating on a mechanics level, It takes way too long to respawn (one time my ghost went into an orbit around the checkpoint?? what the hell!?!?!) and You're jumps are way too floaty for the game.
I didn't play it alot becasue It's just annoying (and if there's one thing aI didn't feel it was "Bliss") I like the art style.
I've played alot of Indie platformers and sorry to say this isn't worth it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2015
I really wanted to like this game at first with it's soothing music and pretty graphics but after having another few attempts, I found myself more stressed than relaxed due to the split second timing you have to do when stopping time. It's not bad but other games with time manipulation can give you a good feeling when you do something right, this just feels like your "pausing" the game just to progress. I could be too hasty at the moment as I haven't put a lot of time into it, but that was just the problem, the game did not pull me in. Also, the lack of full screen support is never a good thing and playing with the keyboard, due to the inertia, is also a pain due to no controller support! I suppose it's cheap enough but there are far better platform games on Steam.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
I saw this game on green light before release and it looked very interesting. I bought it recently and tried it out, and all I say is that it’s a very relaxing game with amazing art work. The game is easy to get into, with simple controls. Although the story is not very clear in the beginning I feel like that once you get a little deep in to the game, the story opens up.

The game reminds me a lot of other indie games, especially Limbo. However, I love the art work in this game a great deal more. I definitely recommend this to other indie lovers!!
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