App Reviewed on: iPad Pro
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If you've played Klocki, HOOK, or PUSH before, you'll know what you're getting yourself into with Up Left Out. It's minimalism at its finest and won't hold your hand, even if you ask it nicely.
Though, you really don't need it to. There may not be any instructions, but the way Rainbow Train's games are designed makes it so you can work on common sense alone. Of course, if you've got none of that – er – I can't help you there.
Slide to the right
Up Left Out is an ultra-fluid, sliding puzzler in which you work through a bunch of levels and figure out a variety of quirky challenges. Using familiar 'tile sliding' mechanics you have to 'unlock' each block before you can move on to the next one.
In each tile there's a line which shows you its range and direction of movement. Some can only go up and down, some side to side, some are a mix of both, and that's a lot more challenging than it sounds.
What starts off rather easy quickly ramps up in difficulty as new mechanics are added throughout. The primary method of sliding things about stays the same, but you have to work around buttons, sectioned-off areas, different sized tiles, corner directions, and much more.
Its design is simple, but clever. Even when new mechanics are added the game throws you a couple of easier levels to let you get a grip on things before really boggling your brain.
Cha cha real smooth
This is a game best played in smaller bursts. It's not deep by any means and playing the whole thing in one sitting may well turn you off after a while, but that's to be expected given its general repetition. That way it also lasts longer, too.
Hardcore puzzle-heads may also find themselves wanting in the tougher challenges. There weren't any points where I hit an impassable mental wall. If you're super keen you could just stumble upon the answer using trial and error, but where's the fun in that?
Up Left Out doesn't redefine the genre or create an experience you still think about days later, but it's good fun, clever, and extremely well made.
Rather than messing around with a tried-and-tested formula, it celebrates what it is with bells on and there's something so wonderful about that. You may get stressed out in the trickier level, but once you figure it out it's immensely satisfying.