Ugly

Posted:  Oct 15, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Cloud Saves

Review

Ugly was provided by Graffiti Games for review. Thank you!

Whenever I want to relax, puzzle games are usually what I go to. I love relaxing experiences that require some thinking, keeping my brain active without stressing me out. I especially love when the game has some unique mechanic along with it. Most recently, Chants of Sennaar captivated me with a low-stress environment about dissecting and discovering an unknown language. Ugly has become my next relaxing puzzle game, and I love it.

Ugly is a smaller game, one that doesn't seem to have a lot of substance, but it does on multiple fronts. In terms of gameplay, it is a similar to other puzzle platformers. You will run along a 2D world, completing different smaller puzzles. What makes this game stand out, though, is its mirror mechanic. To get through all of these, you will need to utilize your mirror self, which you can swap between at will. I love this mechanic. Every level made me think of how I can get my mirror-self to a specific area to swap to it, and whenever I figured it out, I felt such a sense of pride.

Ugly1

Then, we have the story. This is a dark tale about a nobleman confronting his traumas. I really like that the tale is told from the varied and unique environments and the moments where you have to confront the trauma. There are moments in some levels where, if you stand in specific spots, a chalk-like drawing will appear that depicts something horrible that you feel. I love how this is portrayed and how dark and deep it can feel, with dark clouds illuminating the drawing, and the only way to get out of it is to put your head between your knees and hope it goes away.

It isn't the longest game, nor is it the most complex, but the uniqueness and how it tells its story is just fantastic. And it runs nearly flawlessly on the Steam Deck.

Ugly - Steam Deck Performance

Without any changes, Ugly runs perfectly on the Steam Deck! I expected this due to the game's art style, but it is still nice to see. You can expect a solid 60 FPS with a 7W - 8W battery drain for around 5.5 hours of battery life.

Accessibility:

Ugly does have a specific section for accessibility features, which is awesome. There are some vibration, brightness, and volume toggles, but there are specific options for visible controls, directional aid, hints, and a daltonsim filter for color blindness.

The game doesn't support 16:10 resolutions, so there are black bars above and below the game, but you can stretch the screen with SteamOS 3.5. It does support controller and cloud saves, too.

Conclusion

Ugly is a fantastic 2D puzzle game that shines because of its unique mirror mechanic and how it tells its story. The way you solve the puzzles using two selves is phenomenal and made me feel proud every time I figured it out, while the story was deep, and I could feel the weight behind it. It also runs flawlessly on the Steam Deck, making it a perfect game to play on the go! If you're a fan of laid-back puzzle games, don't sleep on this one!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Ugly is a fantastic 2D puzzle game that felt rewarding and deep. Plus, it runs flawlessly on the Steam Deck!

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Current Price: 
$9.99
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