App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
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Path of Giants is a puzzle game that wants you to succeed. This isn’t to say it’s easy. It just has a lot of nice little touches that let you enjoy it to its fullest. As a result, it’s one of my favorite traversal puzzlers on the App Store.
If you take one look at Path of Giants, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to Monument Valley. Both games are portrait-mode puzzlers that involve moving little characters around labyrinthian environments. That’s where the similarities start and end, though.
Path of Giants puts you in control of three adventurers on their quest for hidden treasure. In each level, your goal is to move each of these little climbers to designated platforms that take them to the next puzzle. At the end of each of these traversal sequences, you then have to complete a rotating block puzzle before unlocking the next set of stages.
Team work makes the dream work
With multiple characters to control, each puzzle in Path of Giants requires some amount of teamwork between your crew, which makes for unique and interesting puzzling. At first, this mostly revolves letting characters climb on top of each other to reach elevated platforms. This escalates into situations where characters have to hit switches to create paths forward for their friends, and even levels where specific characters have special access to paths they can use to help the rest of their team.
The coolest part about this co-op puzzling is the levels themselves. A lot of thought and a keen editorial eye went into each stage in Path of Giants. They all feel like unique challenges as opposed to iterations on mechanics, and all of them follow a logic that is easy to grasp. There are no tricks or attempts to stump you here, which allows you to simply enjoy solving them without any sort of roadblocks standing in your way.
In addition to quality puzzles, another big part of what makes Path of Giants so great is a handful of small (but extremely convenient) features that keep it from ever feeling frustrating. Top of the list here is the game’s pathfinding. I don’t know how we got here, but Monument Valley and all of its imitators force you to tap along specific paths piecemeal to “prove” to the game you know what is and isn’t an accessible area. This sucks. It’s not fun, and never has been. Luckily, Path of Giants lets you tap to move your character to any accessible area you tap with no issue.
Another particularly notable feature is the undo button in Path of Giants. At any point in a puzzle, you can this button to instantly take back the last action, and you can continue reverting actions until you’ve completely reset a puzzle. My favorite aspect of this undo button though is that it tells you when you need to use it. In some rare instances where you can actually get stuck, Path of Giants lets you know right away so you don’t ever get stuck trying to get out of an unwinnable situation. This—plus other features like no load times and options for recoloring your adventurers—give Path of Giants a sense of momentum that’s really compelling and makes it hard to put down.
The bottom line
Path of Giants is an elegant and creative puzzle game that never loses sight of player experience. Every aspect of the game feels tailor-made in a way that makes you just want to keep playing it. Although it may look like a cheap knock-off at first blush, Path of Giants—in a lot of ways—is more authentic and rewarding than the games that inspired it.