Portal Puzzle and its increasing complexity
Game developer Tylario maintained his promise to focus on simple appearance products but with highly addictive potential. Nails it with Portal Puzzle, on Steam this since November 1st.
Sandbox or Sugarbox
In 2012, the gaming world was divided between those playing Far Cry 3, Mass Effect 3 or Persona 4.
However, I was totally caught by the golden age of browser games.
An endless variety of small free gems typically for casual gamers, but with the feature of being easily accessible wherever there was a pc and a connection.
Among all these titles there’s a puzzle with very innovative design and physics of interactions: Sugar, Sugar.
Sugar particles fall from a predetermined location and must reach their destination inside the coffee cup. The player can modify the path of the free fall by drawing tracks with the mouse.
The levels gradually get more complicated with new tools and new difficulties, but the physics of the particles’ free fall always remains in the foreground.
The game combines the puzzle game with a genre such as tower defense, in which there is a real-time action factor to achieve an objective.
Despite the simplicity of this format, I must admit that I was glued to it for many hours.
Game Developer Tylario admitted in this interview with Indie Games Devel that he had BoxHead and incremental games in mind while creating Dead Unending.
In the same interview he says that he has Portal and Flashgames as his main source of inspiration.
Portal Puzzle is a perfect mix between the physics of Sugar, Sugar and the portal mechanics present in Valve‘s title.
The presence of animated particle physics is always at the core of the gameplay, but the force of gravity here becomes more complex to manage with the tools at hand.
The player uses a drawing tool (similar to Sugar, Sugar) along with particle entry/exit portals, bounce points and more; everything applies to getting even a single particle to its destination.
The action unfolds around 30 levels that gradually add complexity as features are gradually introduced.
Longevity is very low unfortunately; two or three hours are enough to get to the end.
However, the title possesses a nice immersive charge, and it is very easy to remain completely absorbed throughout its duration.
I really enjoyed the particle physics aspect, taken care of especially in the “foolish” moments. The game always provides good cues for experimenting and applying wacky and original solutions.
I am not a fan of puzzle games, but this mix turned out to be interesting and engaging, wisely combining innovation with Flashgames-era feels.
Unfortunately, the choice of name was somewhat unfortunate for indexing.
Both “Portal” and “Puzzle” are terms destined to completely eclipse the indexing of this game.
To make matters worse, there is a Minecraft mod called “Portal Puzzle” itself….
I hope more tools available to the player will be included by increasing the complexity of interactions.
The 5 available are already very nice but still leave one wanting to repurpose them in other configurations.
Especially the WhiteHolePointer.
More levels with the WhiteHolePointer, please.
I still wish Portal Puzzle the luck of one or more sequels as happened with Sugar, Sugar.
In the end, name aside, the only flaw is longevity.
- Very varied
- Well-designed game physics
- Engaging and complex
- Hopefully, Valve won’t want to sue…