Closure is a minimalistic puzzle/platformer game centered around the use of light to illuminate the level; any part of the level which is not illuminated does not exist.
There is no story.
The gameplay is very simple and yet has pretty good variety in terms of puzzles nonetheless. You can pick things up, drop them, push crates and barrels around, and adjust the angle of lights you can touch. These are all the mechanics in the game, and yet they’re used in a pretty reasonable variety of ways. The game starts off very simple, but soon starts throwing some reasonably clever puzzles at the player.
The central mechanic of the game is light – light illuminates the level. Any portion of the level which is not illuminated does not exist, meaning that you can fall through it – potentially to your death, if you fall off the bottom of the screen. In addition to constantly-illuminated places (which are usually small patches here and there in a level), there are adjustable lights which throw light onto various parts of the levels; mirrors which can reflect light and behave similarly to the adjustable lights, save that they must be illuminated by some external light source; and small light globes which the player can carry around, pick up, and drop. There are crates and barrels, some of which have light orbs stuck inside them, and fixtures where you can place a light orb which causes something to happen – usually, either additional orbs appear in other fixtures, or the fixture moves around on a fixed track, allowing the player to navigate through the level on a moving platform of light.
All of these things combine to create a pretty solid variety of puzzles, with a few other mechanics thrown in for good measure. There is a fixed gun which can shoot out light orbs (destroying them) or targets (which open up doors). There are barrels and crates which can be pushed onto buttons to open doors. And there is water, which can be swum around in, but which light orbs, when not held in your hands, float instead of sink. There are keys in a few levels which unlock the final door – often a bit challenging because you can only carry one thing at a time, and you often need to carry around a light orb to navigate the levels well – and other doors which are opened by either casting light on certain parts of the level or putting light orbs in all the fixtures around the door.
Almost all of the stages are pretty short, with only the final states in the game requiring more than a few minutes to complete – and even there, most of the time spent completing them is figuring out what you’re doing, not actually doing it.
On the whole, the game’s central mechanic is quite clever and creates a solid variety of puzzles, and in the end of the game, ten remix type levels test your ability to use all of the other things you’ve learned in concert.
There are also 30 moths distributed throughout the game which serve as collectables; these glowing moths are sometimes hidden very cleverly, but also sometimes feel as though they’re hidden “cheaply”, such as off the side of a stage where there is only one spot you can walk off the side of the screen and actually have the screen scroll.
If the game has any weakness in its physics, it is in the crates and barrels. The barrels mostly behave predictably, but the crates, being squares, frequently will fall at an angle, which can send them tumbling out of the light and off into the darkness, causing you to fail the stage sometimes through no real fault of your own. Sometimes this felt extremely inconsistent, which was frustrating when the goal was to do the same thing over and over again every time I restarted the level. This is particularly frustrating in the final level, where you must solve four puzzles to defeat the level, and two of them involve crates, either of which can go plunging off into the darkness with little warning. Given that this is by far the longest stage in the game, it is rather annoying.
Overall, the game’s gameplay is decent enough, but the game never feels like it ever goes above and beyond – it knows what it is, and it does what it wants to do, but it never makes me feel like it is anything more than a simple puzzle platformer.
The graphics are simple but visually appealing, and look fine in high resolution.
All in all, there’s nothing really wrong with Closure, but there’s nothing overwhelmingly right about it either. The game is simple, it works well enough, the puzzles are reasonably creative and make use of the game’s mechanics in interesting ways, and the graphics are reasonably appealing to the eye. All that being said, the game never really impresses the player or goes above and beyond; it is what it is, and what it is competent, but not great or spectacular. It is merely a decent game with interesting ideas. At about six hours to complete 100%, it is not an unreasonably long game and does not wear out its welcome, but your life will not be forever incomplete if you never experience it.