Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
What’s the bare minimum a puzzle game needs to be good? Simply Twisted feels like a test designed to answer that question. While its looping line puzzles are perfectly serviceable, the lack of style is so all-encompassing it’s almost painful.
Simply Twisted's puzzles have players building pathways between two dots on opposite ends of the board. The board itself is made of individual hexagons with different line segments on them and by rotating the hexagons players rearrange the path. The puzzles usually have a fairly obvious answer, but each board also has three stars that can be collected by constructing a more creative path. Opting for these sneaky snaking solutions instead of the straightforward routes opens up the full breadth of the game’s cleverness and possibilities. This is especially true when trickier elements like line transporters and multiple pairs of dots to connect start making the spatial reasoning even headier. But when the player’s intricate systems snap into place, particularly on the later, more expansive maps, the “Eureka!” moments are pretty satisfying.
But like the classic nerd it is, Simply Twisted, to its detriment, is far more concerned with its brains than with its looks. The boring fonts, rote sound effects, dull colors, and (understandable) abundance of straight lines go beyond minimalism. It’s flat like a hospital waiting room, or the video game version of normcore. Perhaps the lack of visual embellishment helps keep the natural complexity nice and clear, but the presentation should at least have a little bit going on. Players that choose to purchase more puzzles past the initial 60 also get the ads removed. But that’s almost a shame because most of the ads are more graphically dynamic than the game itself. Hopefully that wasn’t the point.
Simply Twisted's looks could probably put a player to sleep. Fortunately, its smart gameplay will keep them engaged and alert.