App Reviewed on: iPad Pro
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Empty. is a game built around shifting your perspective The general idea is simple: rotate your view of the room to make objects blend in with the background. I wouldn't say this idea is particularly inventive, nor is much of anything else about Empty., but it is a free game that is a relaxing and fun time nonetheless.
Rotate and remove
Levels in Empty. are rooms with solid colored objects and walls. Your goal is to remove all objects by making them "disappear" against the backdrop of a wall. As an example, a green floor lamp might vanish easily against a tall and thin green block painted on a wall across the room.
All you have to do to make that happen is swipe on the screen to rotate your view so that the lamp is in the foreground of same-colored wall to create the illusion that it has disappeared. Then Empty. will do the work of making it actually disappear. You repeat this process for every object in the room until you're left with nothing, hence the game's title.
As you progress in Empty., item removal gets a little bit trickier in the sense that some objects might obscure the walls you need to make other items disappear. In some rare instances, you might also have to consider the order in which you remove certain things, as some objects have the power to change the color of walls upon disappearing.
Along the way, there are also some extremely light text-based puzzles that appear between rooms. It seems the aim of these is to dole out some narrative reflection on people's relationships with things, but it mostly feels like filler that makes hollow gestures at deeper meaning.
There really isn't a whole lot to Empty., but it also doesn't ask that much of you. The game is completely free with no ads or in-app purchases, and you can make your way through the experience easily in a sitting or two.
Considering this extremely low barrier to entry, Empty. is enjoyable for what it is. If you're looking for something new and digestible to play on the go, this is certainly a worthy pickup. Just don't expect it to fill too much commute or travel time.
The bottom line
Empty. mostly feels special almost entirely because it's a game that gives without asking for much of anything in return. If this weren't the case, I'm not sure it would be recommendable, especially considering there are games out there that do what Empty. does, only better. Things being as they are, though, Empty. does feel like a nice, calm gift when compared to most other games on the App Store.