Welcome to Sealed, a strategic puzzle game that concentrates on one key element in video games: Player movement. In this game, players interact with their environment, at the cost of giving up one of their four movement directions, to progress through each level. Whilst this unique game mechanic animates players to think outside of the box, as their ability to move narrows more and more, this twist in gameplay also gives level designers the opportunity to explore and bend the strategic depth of this mechanic.


So, here’s Level 1 for you. In every level, we’ve got a player character at the bottom left and a level goal on the top right. Most important is, though, what’s between the two elements: The area that the player traverses across, which appears to be tiled into quadratic fields.

The player traverses the levels tile by tile upon given input.

Voila! Once we’ve reached the level goal, we get to play the next level.

The level is completed once the player has successfully reached the level’s goal.

Door Stuck

And would you look at that, we find the finish line of Level 2 is obstructed by a locked door. But there is a tile that looks different than the others. Stepping onto it, the door opens for the player, but closes immediately after stepping off. It appears that leaving something behind on this pressure plate might keep the door open just fine for the player to pass through it, right?

Doors open when their corresponding button interacts with another gameplay element.

Core & Key

But here’s the clou: The player hasn’t got anything to put onto this pressure plate. There is no inventory, no object in the environment to push. All the player has is their ability to move into four directions. Let’s sacrifice a walking direction for the door staying open in return and carefully plan our path to the finish under these new circumstances.

            The player can trigger a button continuously by giving up one of their four movement directions.

And that’s it! Later on, the player will encounter other elements using the same mechanic, such as light-beams and teleportation-fields, which adds to the complex strategic thinking that players will have to adopt.

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