Developer: Armor Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Sometimes a game is well-made. It’s got a concept that clicks as a great idea, there might be a lot to like about it, but whether the player loves it is another question. Well, I liked Interlocked. While playing it, I thought it its concept was ingenious, and the way it made me feel like a genius was unmatched. But I never really loved it.

The concept of Interlocked is that players need to sort out various blocks that are interlocked with each other, and free them into individual pieces, swiping removed pieces off of the screen. Of course, the puzzles are designed in such a way to be absolutely bewildering and beguiling, as later puzzles take dozens of moves to optimally remove, with star ratings availablefor doing them in fewer moves.

Really, the game gets brilliant isin the way that it plays with perspective. It’s possible to spin the mass of interlocked pieces in all three dimensions, getting to just about completely see what the puzzle contains. While slight adjustments can count as moves, thankfully it’s easy to reverse moves by tapping the back button in the lower right corner. It’s satisfying to remove that first block, then watch as everything starts to come together in the practical sense as it all comes apart. Then, trying to take that same solution, and make it more efficient, cutting out the unnecessary moves to get to the 3-star ranking, proves to be a challenge that can be satisfying.

But to me it was only satisfying on a surface level. I felt like I could put this game down at any point, and be satisfied to do something else. Maybe I’d come back to it because I really needed to finish the review of it – and this is where the challenge of being a games critic comes in, the way I have to approach games sometimes is different from when I just am playing one for my own amusement. And really, that’s the challenge here: I think the game is swell on technical merits, but as a personal experience? Eh, I didn’t feel particularly feel like I needed to play it. I could delete it and not miss it.

So, Interlocked: I suppose that I do recommend it despite having not really been a huge fan of it. If these kinds of brain-teasers, if the thought of unwrapping a tricky puzzle sounds delightful, then go for it! But if not, then I suggest moving on. It’s a fine game, but one that never got its hooks in me.

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