Price: FREE (until Feb 27)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5s
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
There are very few games on the App Store that start with a young man, walking through a meadow, rambling philosophically about life. For those who happen to stumble across Perceptor's new minimal puzzler Perloo though, that's exactly what they can expect.
The question: “Where do we find ourselves?” A question that seemingly has a lot of answers. Does the “where” have a spacial value? Or is it entirely spiritual? Following through with this thought of mysticism, Perloo has no instructions. Instead, the game throws players head-first into a mind-bending set of spatial-themed puzzles that will test their resolve to its very limits. Trust me, I was crying with frustration after level 1. Eventually I managed to solve it, which resulted in an actual air-to-fist pump.
Starting out insanely easy players are shown both a white and black dot. The black dot represents somewhat of a black hole, while the white dot is supposedly there to represent matter. Using tilt control the aim is to get the matter through the black hole. That's the easy part. Then the screen goes blank and players are again confronted with what - at first - looks like the exact same puzzle. However, after tiling they will soon realize this isn't the case. Invisible to start, tilting the white dot around the screen to reach the blackhole will see white 'barriers' sporadically appear. Remembering where these white barriers are after they have disappeared is just the first in a collection of mind-twisting conundrums that one will find themselves faced with in Perloo.
Right now, I'm on level 3 - and incredibly stuck. But, that's also makes up the joy of playing Perloo. It's so mind-meltingly frustrating that one will beg to see the brain torture come to an end. The use of bizarre sound and minimal visuals simply adds to it's unapologetically-ruleless environment, and while one may find themselves wanting to toss their iPhone after a few minutes, sticking with it is highly rewarding in the end.
There are a few small points that hold Perloo back, though. The first is the game's seeming lack of ability to save one's progress when closing and returning to it later. This happened a few times, seeing me have to restart its sometimes frustratingly complex (yet, still enjoyable) puzzles once more. In addition, there's currently no native support for iPad. The game will run on iPad, but only in 'x2' mode.
Due to the fact that it nearly broke my brain, I would still recommend Perloo to puzzler lovers out there. It's clean, minimal and frustratingly hard - all the ingredients a great puzzler should ultimately have.
Editor's Note: Since publishing this review, Perceptor have been in-touch to clarify how Perloo saves user progress.
Their comments follow:
“I wanted to clarify one thing about how the game saves your progress. At first, it may seem that this doesn't happen at all, however, the game saves your progress at certain checkpoints. There are 9 puzzles in total: you start with three puzzles involving circles. Then three puzzles with cubes. Then three with triangles. Each time you reach a new shape, your progress is saved and you can continue from there.
When there is a saved game, a second shape (the one you will be going to, so either a cube or a triangle) will appear in the very first level below the circle. So this gives you the option to either start a new game (with the circle) or continue where you left off.”