Developer: Pangea Software Inc.
Price: 2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Nothing in the world drives me more insane that puzzles, because knowing that I can’t solve something makes me just a tad bit insane. Typically puzzles involve some kind of order or knowledge… from ‘paper’ puzzles like crossword puzzles and Sudoku puzzles to digital puzzles like Tetris and Myst, they all make you think slightly outside the box. There are typically boundaries and rules given to make the experience controlled, but still challenging. What’s nice about puzzles is that you can take them at face value. You see a Sudoku puzzle, or even a game like Myst for that matter, and you know what you are getting. Enigmo 2 is the most cruel of all these puzzles because it throws things at you that just seem impossible.

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A little background first. Pangea, the creators of Enigmo and Enigmo 2, have been making games for Apple computers for years, most (if not all) of which are ported onto your favorite iDevice. Most of their games are shooters of some variety, most of which are 3rd person 3D adventures, but they seemed to have struck gold with the Enigmo series. In 2003, Enigmo was the most popular game put out by Pangea because of its visual simplicity but ultimate vicious complexity. In the beginning months of the App Store, Enigmo was a certified hit, making people that had no interest in the iPhone think twice. People would play a few levels, get sucked in, and then cry themselves to sleep when they got stuck. It happened to me, so I’m sure it happened to you. The nice thing about Enigmo was that there were boundaries. It was hard as all get out, but you knew that, with the tools at your disposal, you could get the little water droplets to do your bidding.

Enigmo 2 is a bit different from the first Enigmo, because I’m never quite sure if my goal is even possible. I mean, I’m sure it is, but wrapping my head around the game is painful at times. Each level is presented to you in outer space, with the puzzle spinning towards you like an out of control Mir Spacestation. The puzzles themselves aren’t really so different than those in the first Enigmo, other than the fact that you have full 3D control over placement, adding much added frustration to the experience. Its almost necessary to view everything from all angles, just so you know you get the right part in the right place.

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The goal of the game, just like the original, is to get whatever substance you have (water, lasers, or plasma) into its corresponding receptacle, which is probably hidden behind a shield or a wall. Each level gives you a certain amount of items to move the substances around with, including great items such as drums, mirrors, and slides, along with some triggers on the walls that must be hit for certain things to happen. As early as level 6, there is this button that changes the gravity of an area, making things go up instead of down. So it goes. As mentioned earlier, each of these items can now be rotated in 3D, giving you depth (or infinite frustration) that you definitely didn’t have in the first Enigmo. Once again, just to pound this into your head, each level, all 50 of them, is entirely in 3D… I just want you to grasp this.

Aside from the puzzle aspect, the game is really quite pretty. Being 3D, the graphics have quite a bit more depth than they did on the first game. Along with the structures, the effects of some of the substances, particularly the lasers and the plasma, are really nice on the eyes. The outer space background also provides a nice, uncluttered background for the madness before you. The sound is also a nice and calming, lulling you to be half as mad as you really should be. I tried turning off the sound and listening to my own music, but anything more angry than Nick Drake will certainly make you want to go insane.

Overall, I’d say that Enigmo 2 is a must have experience for any veteran puzzle solver/Enigmo fan. If you are weak of mind/ have little patience/ have children, I would definitely try a different game. Maybe one with guns and havoc. The game is definitely kid-friendly, as long as you don’t let your kid play too long. I promise that a 10 year old Chris Hall would have thrown the iPhone into a wall, regardless of how much trouble I would’ve gotten into. At the time of the review, Enigmo 2 is only $2.99, making it an absolute must buy, assuming you don’t have to spend another $200 fixing the screen after a bout of anger. For less than the price of a $6 Teriyaki Burger at Carl’s Junior, this one can be yours… all yours.

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