112th Seed is a fun little puzzle platformer that uses simple aesthetics and presentation to get its gameplay ideas across, but even looking past its simple setup there is a deeper story at play here, which is portrayed in minimalist terms. The name itself is an interesting one, and before you ask what happened to the other 111 seeds, well, they didn’t quite make it – and so in this game you play the role of the titular 112th Seed. It’s a well-designed puzzle romp not too dissimilar to another recent release on Xbox One, Ultra Hat Dimension. Still, much like the latter, 112th Seed doesn’t really offer anything more than what is on the surface.
In 112th Seed you are a lifeform born in a lab and the only hope for life left for a dying planet. While the message is hardly ever in your face, there is a subtle yet meaningful environmental message here in this futuristic setup. There are a few cutscenes here and there, so there’s something to be said about its minimalist storytelling approach to deliver a rather timely and meaningful message. As the blurb of the game states, it’s about life finding a way no matter the odds.
Speaking of minimalist approach, the game’s graphics and presentation follows after the premise and narrative by keeping things simple and effective. The graphics aren’t remarkable by any stretch, the soundtrack hardly memorable, but the various elements of the presentation and visuals come together nicely enough. The basic sprite animations are nice and the visuals are practical enough to make the gameplay effective and engaging.
From a gameplay standpoint, 112th Seed is one of those puzzle games that takes a rather old school approach, providing players with 30 or so bit-sized levels of increasing difficulty and complexity. Not that things get too complex, but the basic game design involves jumping platforms, pushing blocks, and making use of water droplets to grow plants, which basically serve as platforms. The main objective is to reach the exit of the level, and it’s a simple enough affair which doesn’t really require much explanation. In this sense, it takes after some of the classics of the NES era that were all about navigating a large selection of simple levels.
The experience is largely casual here, and so it doesn’t necessarily feel like the best use of your time on Xbox One, but much like Ultra Hat Dimension before it, it’s worth having that choice of a puzzler on the system. The level design is rarely ever difficult or frustrating – in fact it’s usually easy going and charming in its level design and overall vibe. The level design does try to change things up a bit as you go along, but the core gameplay hooks of pushing platform blocks and making use of water droplets to grow new platforms remains largely unchanged. In this sense, despite there being 30 or so levels, the gameplay variety doesn’t really change much even if it does remain casual and relaxing. It won’t take long for most players to work their way through 112th Seed, making it an easy one for achievement hoarders.
112th Seed on Xbox One is a simple and effective puzzle platformer with a heartfelt environmental message tucked away in its rather simple exterior. As a seedling representing the last hope for life itself, you’ll be pushing blocks and growing plans as you quickly navigate the game’s 30 or so puzzle levels, which rarely ever get too challenging. It’s a fun and cheap little distraction on Xbox One, a fun little experimental idea, but beyond a few sittings and some easy achievements there is not much else about 112th Seed that stays with you.