Miegakure lets you use the 4th dimension to solve puzzles

An upcoming platform game lets you twist space to access two, three and four dimensions.

Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

Miegakure isn't your normal platformer. It's been in development since at least 2009 -- but, when you think about the concept behind it, well, it's not very hard to see why. The game is about folding dimensional space, slipping between two, three, and four dimensions to circumnavigate obstacles. How do you start to visualise that in a way that's easy to understand? And then how do you turn that into a video game?

If you're feeling a bit confused as to how it all works, developer Marc ten Bosch has created a trailer to explain how slipping into the fourth dimension will enable you to walk "through" walls. Although you don't actually walk "through" them; when you change dimensions, space itself changes, and the walls change too -- giving you options that simply weren't available before.

He likens it to using 3D space to solve a 2D puzzle. A flat object in 2D space looks insurmountable; but, if you shift perspective, suddenly that object takes a different form.

Ten Bosch doesn't actually state what the fourth dimension his game employs is; it could be time, but it is more likely spatial -- something that is bigger than, yet inclusive of, our world that we can't perceive because our perception and experience are limited to three dimensions.

"Fun anecdote: the code that handles movement in 2D/3D is the same as the code that handles movement in 3D/4D, but one axis is ignored," ten Bosch wrote. "The display code is of course different, but it reuses a bunch of stuff."

The trailer also shows -- briefly, and without going into detail -- the use of a four-dimensional shape, the 120-cell. Marc ten Bosch, however, goes into great detail about the mathematics on his blog, where you can also find more trailers and follow his progress.

Currently, the game does not have a release date, although it is slated for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The game will be on display in the Indie Megabooth at PAX Prime on the weekend of August 29 to September 1.