Developer: Hyberbolic Magnetism
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Like puzzle games that are incredibly difficult? Like, really, really difficult? Perfect Paths is the perfect game, then.

PerfectPaths-6PerfectPaths-5The goal of the game is to get squares from their starting place to the goal circles, done by placing arrows and momentum-preserving diamonds in order to get everything to its proper place. Of course, the challenge comes from that paths will often have overlap, and crossroads will lead to blocks getting knocked out of their proper path. Thus, clever paths must be deciphered in order to succeed. The arrows are ruled by a consistent order of operations, which can be exploited to make sure everything stays out of each other piece’s way.

The game starts to add clever wrinkles later on with new elements, which can then be added to solve earlier puzzles. The frustrating thing though is that things like the diamond, or even the linked pieces, might be helpful in earlier puzzles but they’re unusable until introduced in later level packs. I get why it’s done, it just feels like perhaps this could have been handled in a much better way.

PerfectPaths-6PerfectPaths-8I think the scoring is done quite well: players get more points for using fewer tiles and having shorter paths. This allows for high score competitions to take place, and the game tracks both high scores for level packs individually and for total score, showing both top friends scores and among all players. It’s fun to see how one is doing among the entirety of players, and the scoring system is set up to be expandable: as more levels are added (and the developer claims to be adding more every week), score competitions can continue, though to a certain extent it will be about who can play as many levels as possible. But given how hard the game is – and it gets brutally difficult – that’s a feat in and of itself. Whoever tops the leaderboards has earned it.

I like how Perfect Paths has a complexity and planning aspect to it: it’s impossible to accidentally succeed at this game. Players know why they succeeded. Success is hard-earned and rewarding. It’s not easy, it’s not for everyone, but those who do will find great rewards.


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