Saturday, August 5, 2017

Snap review - Energy Cycle

Energy Cycle is a fairly generic puzzle game disguised as something slightly physics-based, but why it has electro-felines as a visual motif, I have no idea. In the three modes, puzzle, timed and infinite, you need to turn all the glowing bubbles one colour. To do that tap a bubble and it will change the colour of any vertically or horizontally connected ones.

Learning in Infinite mode is the easiest way to progress, once you've figured out how to reshape the triangles, crosses, L-shapes, sticks and more complex shapes you come across, you can master pretty much any situation in about five minutes.

After level 10 in Puzzle mode, things get tricky due to the interconnections, but logic should see you through, most levels take only 20 or so presses to finish, so don't overthink things.

And that's really it, there's no need for the cats, the very random ambient electro music and swirly backgrounds. In fact, the who game could have been done on a ZX Spectrum, such is the simplicity. Quite what players of the Xbox One version feel, I have no idea.

The game also misses badly in execution. Press a button and nothing will happen for a few seconds, not even a sign you pressed the button, leading to some awkward pauses. And, as a good-old standby, randomly tapping bubbles will often help get you past a level. But the mechanics of the game are solid, and it is dirt cheap with 19 trophies including a Platinum if you're feeling like really wringing this game's neck.

A tiny hint of a plot, some reason for the cat's existence and a little effort in presentation, would have helped, but if you want a cheap, challenging, puzzler - got for it. On the plus side, if this is the developer's first game, there's plenty of hope and much to learn!

UPDATE: Oh dear, Energy Cycle has a rather horrible bug. On the Time Attack and Infinite Play modes, you can press X repeatedly when you complete the first level and the starburst appears. The game will skip the remaining levels if you keep tapping away, making it rather easy to get the platinum.

Score: 4/10
More reviews
Price: £2.99 (PSN)
Size: 225MB
Dev: Sometimes You
Progress: Platinum

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