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Fix roads and untangle waterways in this chill, gorgeous puzzler

And a dark game about surviving as a mouse

an overhead view of a road. there are trees and water surrounding it. the road is broken up into square panels that be arranged to solve the puzzle. Image: Ariel Jurkowski

Sometimes you see a puzzle game with such a strong sense of style, you can’t look away. Such is the case with Please Fix the Road, which uses stunning animations to elevate a relatively simple puzzle game.

We have eye-catching puzzles and more in Cool WIP, Polygon’s weekly roundup of eye-catching clips and screenshots of works in progress. Each week, the Polygon staff scours the internet for the most interesting games still under construction, to give you a sampler of the coolest up-and-coming projects.

This week, we have a game following the lives of peasant mice, a Sonic-like platformer, a beautifully lit scene, and a game that shows us new layers of impressionist paintings.

The most beautiful animations I’ve ever seen in a puzzle game

Ariel Jurkowski is creating Please Fix the Road, a politely titled puzzle game where you try to repair the road running from one end of the board to the other. Clips of the game show that it’ll have you arranging and destroying tiles in order to fix the road. The animations are absolutely stunning, and a standout element of the game. This clip shows just how dynamic the world looks as you pick up, smash, and lie down all the tiles. The game has a release window of 2022 and you can check out more on its Steam page.

An ominous and compelling concept

Mother of Many is a little game with an absolutely fascinating concept. Made by Brainwash Gang, the game follows a family of peasant mice who has hit hard times. To lift a curse and make things better, you must sacrifice your older sister in the game. From what we can see in the trailer, the game absolutely nails a dark and ominous tone — the trailer shows you wielding a scythe to fight dark monsters in the middle of roaring flames. If it looks up your alley, you can download it to Windows PC right now on Itch.io.

A Sonic-like platformer meets a candy-colored wonderland

Project Rascal is an upcoming game from a studio called The Rascals. A short clip shows off its varied gameplay, like speeding up ramps and grinding on rails — many of the courses seem to be inspired by the 3D Sonic games. The developers shared a recent post teasing a carnival-themed course. They also said that they plan to bring multiplayer to the game. There’s not a whole lot of information on it yet, but you can follow progress on the game’s Twitter account.

Who knew lighting could be so pretty

Here’s our neat game development tool of the week: Christopher Sims made a comic shader that renders scenes in an etched art style. This gif shows off how the shader turned these basic shapes into an intriguing scene. Sims regularly posts and shares different tools like this, so you can check more work on their Twitter account.

This game brings new layers to impressionistic art

The Master’s Pupil is a new hand-painted adventure game set in the paintings of Claude Monet, in development from Pat Naoum Games. A recent clip showed off the game and its impressionistic art style. In a recent clip, you can see the main character running through the painting, Vétheuil, and see the painting break into a bunch of different layers as the character darts across the scene. It’s a neat concept and you can catch more of the developer’s work on the studio’s Twitter account.

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