Wyv and Keep are rookie treasure hunters and as they probably already know, this sort of work hasn't gotten easier throughout the years. The temple they're running around in isn't just any run-of-the-mill ancient tomb filled with traps. This contains puzzles that involve guiding these greenhorns to unlock an exit door without having to sacrifice a life or two. While there are plenty of levels that offer clear cut solutions, others are made up with obstacles, like walls that shoot arrows and crevices that leave little to no room to maneuver around. If those were not enough, some levels froce the player to deal with sticky mud and uncooperative bombs.
Each level allows you to get acquainted with these obstacles. The idea is to keep going or die trying - but dying is not the end of the game. Instead, the game scores the player based on the time it takes to complete a puzzle and penalizes you for any deaths incurred. Keep both time and deaths at a minimum to gain more points. The difficulty level grows and more obstacles are introduced as you progress deeper into the temple. I really disliked the disappearing/reappearing blocks because I couldn't get the timing down. My timing and hand-eye coordination are completely off for this type of game. My reflexes suck and I am definitely not a team player.
The character's motivations unveiled through cutscenes where they talk about their next moves and findings. They continuously show their rookie side as they progress through the temple. I didn't really like the idea of the female character having to check her makeup every time she idled. I wouldn't think that makeup would play a significant role in treasure hunting, but I guess I'm wrong. The controls are a bit confusing at first, but they grow on you within a few levels. Actually, I'm lying. The controls negatively affected my timing for both characters. You can remap the keys to those that better for you, but I was stubborn and kept the Shift key as the character switch. I paid for that error with many character deaths and missed opportunities.
Once you solve the puzzle, your reward is unlocking the exit for the next level. The exit door's location varies on each level so be prepared to put more thought into escaping. The most frustrating moment I experienced was when the character I controlled at the time accidentally fell down into the water as I was about to finish pushing the last block into position. It doesn't usually happen just that one time either. Five deaths later, I found myself anticipating each move and mistake, and hating myself slightly more. I finally reached the exit safely once my partner was moved into the right spot and didn't drown.
Like with many others, some of the puzzles can get on your nerves if you don't see the solution right away. The overall feel of the game was sort of related to the look of Spelunky, but the gameplay relies heavily on solving puzzles as a team. While playing solo, you have to control a second character which simplifies and complicates certain tasks. The game has a more relaxed time-keeping system. The puzzles do their job in confusing and frustrating you. The fun doesn't have to be limited to just one person, as co-op allows for a friend to join in. Invite a friend online or have them over for some local co-op.
I mention frustration, because like the usual puzzle game, I had to replay many of the levels and died so much. I would stop playing for an hour and go back to it. The gameplay is fun and the controls can be a little tricky, but overall, it's a good way to wake your brain up. However, you may want to take a few breaks if stuck on a level or else it gets worse. Experiencing more deaths did not make me a happy Crystal. The feeling of conquering the Wyv and Keep world will only get you so far until you realize that the characters are reliving the same puzzle as you struggle to come up with a solution.