Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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Puzzles are personally gratifying on many levels. They honestly just make me happy. It is like scratching my brain. Or if there was some kind of brainwash like mouthwash, puzzles would be the glorious minty/burny kind. Sort of painful but worth the refreshing feeling in the end. Punch A Hole is my off-brand minty brainwash start to the day.
The controls are intuitive: just swipe a finger to hit the cue balls with the pool stick. The objective (also intuitive): colored balls go into the corresponding colored pockets. But that is where the intuitiveness stops and the gray-matter starts bubbling. The balls can only stop rolling by settling into the holes that the player punches into the board. The trick is that the less holes the player punches, the more points go on the board. Beauty in simplicity. As the player completes new levels, new tiles and pockets appear with different actions.
These puzzles are a serious challenge. The difficulty goes up and down with the introduction of new elements. I am not kidding either when I say that these puzzles are serious cranial work. With 100 puzzles to solve, multiple ways to solve them and 23 Game Center achievements there is the potential for seemingly endless playability, especially if the creator keeps adding new challenges.
There is not much to the graphics, but if there were I am afraid it might take away from the game and the clean and well constructed indie feel. I love uncluttered sound effects, and the sound of the cue balls clicking and swishing is as gratifying as hearing rapid keyboard clicks. Not a traditionally beautiful sound, but to a technophile the sound of someone typing with intent is like eavesdropping on an important and exciting conversation. These simple sound effects and lack of "puzzle music" add a gentle excitement that gets my neurons firing.
Punch A Hole is a no-frills puzzler that even the seasoned gamer will find brain tickling. The gameplay is straightforward and fun, the learning curve is quick for each new element, and the challenges tough. Add Game Center challenges to the list and we have ourselves a new go-to game.