The Pedestrian was one of those small indie games PlayStation first introduced us to during an August 2020 State of Play broadcast. I am the moth attracted to the puzzler flame, so I was immediately on board from the second I witnessed the person icons problem solving their way through flat signage. So, does The Pedestrian deliver a solid performance on the PlayStation 5?
The Pedestrian Review – Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs
Our icon feels an urge to leave the safety of the warehouse it calls home and leaves the bland office whiteboard for greener pastures. But because they are only two dimensional, they need to stick to boards and other flat forms of signage. Anything we use as a sign is fair game: construction signs, road signs, even cross walk lights are all valid avenues to take. You might even spot some sticky notes to aid you. So far they seem to be leading me towards items the icon is using to mod an old school Game Boy knock off…
What is super cool about the puzzle solving in The Pedestrian is the ability to move the signs around and figure out the right connections to get from Point A to B (or C and D). Most all of your connections are going to be doors and ladders. Once you use a connection to pass through a door, you cannot move the link to another door. As soon as you disconnect a used pathway the puzzle will send you back to the entryway. I’ve found it best to link one pathway at a time, test my theory, and see if I need to backtrack.
This is especially useful when the puzzles become more complex. Because they will and do. Around the halfway mark Skookum decided to throw in signs with a window cut-out. Now I had to figure out how to use those to my advantage or how they were supposed to help me reach my goal. Then they threw in obstacles. The audacity! But the worst (read: best) was when I now had windowed pieces, obstacles and electrified signs that required a current running through them to unblock paths on other signs. Hello, puzzle heaven. Even when I was struggling just a smidge I never felt frustrated by these more complex brain teasers. I applaud the game master who plotted these diabolically entertaining mazes.
The Pedestrian Review – A Layered Approach
The Pedestrian nixes all voice or text directions and relies solely on visuals. Whenever a new mechanic is thrown into the mix, there is a quick video showing the player how to use the tool and the puzzle itself isn’t too complicated so you can get used to it. At first this threw me for a loop because I was too focused on the puzzle and ignored the visual cues. After early fumbles, I now make certain to check for a TV somewhere on my screen.
I’ve been playing The Pedestrian on PS5 which means I get to experience some minor enhancements courtesy of the DualSense. I am in love with both the vibration and sound emanating from the built-in speaker as the icon moves about. It’s such a subtle, beautiful touch, making me even more engrossed in the world. Even the rumble of the subway train as we ride from one area to the next. Instead of trying to shoehorn in as many of the DualSense functions as possible, Skookum Arts targeted those that would best compliment the experience.
As with most of the best puzzle games out there, The Pedestrian isn’t going to eat up a huge chunk of your time. That said, every minute spent playing it will give your brain a solid workout. My first session saw me burn through the first half of the game in an afternoon before my noggin needed some downtime. As the puzzles ramped up in difficulty, it slowed me down a touch but only because I was being much more deliberate and triple checking everything. Putting this one up there as one of the best puzzlers available for PlayStation gamers, right below A Fold Apart.
The Pedestrian review code provided by publisher. Version 1.001.000 reviewed on PS5. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.