Version Reviewed: 1.1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini (Non-Retina)
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The second of Etter's game titles for Apple's iOS platform, Drei, is a quirky little game that relies on a steady hand and a bit of logic to progress. Based on geometry, the game will see players enter a virtual 3D space where they are challenged to build 3D structures; using both a weighted, physics-based mechanism and a little help from their chosen character to position them correctly.
Drei's manual isn't at all obvious as the player is initially greeted with a completely grey screen, but this adds to the game's initial element of mystery. After choosing the language that they wish to use during gameplay, white geometric objects then fall into this virtual space. Perhaps feeling a little perplexed as to what they are required to do, players will soon gather from experimentation that these objects can be attached to their character, who floats above with a simply tap and drag. Each object can be attached from either of its available sides, and once attached the character can be moved with the same tap-and-drag gesture in order to place the attached pieces in the desired position.
Early on in the game, players are simply required to take one of these 3D shapes and ensure that it is placed either on a designated spot on the virtual floor in front of them, or in a hole as provided. Drei gets more complex, however, when these two ‘destinations’ are replaced with a flashing point that floats in 3D space, and further obstacles are introduced. For example, by the time players reach Level 4 they will be challenged to build a suitable tower in order to reach this ‘end point.’ The tower must stay standing long enough to cover this flashing point for a certain period of time. What I particularly loved about Drei is its overall charm. Little touches such as moving a chosen character, and the sporadic trumpet noises which accompany this action, make for instantly gratifying virtual feedback while the use of vibrant colors are sure to visually simulate players and convince them to continue playing to see what's next.
In terms of what could potentially be holding Drei back? There wasn't really anything specific. I suppose it would have been nice to have the option to play through all of the game's levels as a single player. Sadly, once players get past Level 12 they will need to connect to the internet and find someone else willing to build those towers with them if they want to keep playing through Drei's challenging later levels.
Despite the reliance on two players in later levels though, I can honestly say that - having taken Drei for a long spin over this past weekend - there's nothing stopping me from highly recommending it to others. From the art style to Drei's gameplay mechanics, subtle but enchanting sound effects, and even its replayability, it's definitely one game to check out. Did I mention Drei can also be played in a browser?