Reviewed: August 2, 2011
Released: June 29, 2011
Itís easy to say that Iíve had puzzles on the brain lately and the newest one that has consumed my time and my sanity is Puzzle Dimension for the PlayStation 3. This first downloadable experience by developers Doctor Entertainment is one of coolest and rewarding titles that Iíve seen in a sea of puzzle games on the PS3. Puzzle Dimension features a very simple gameplay design, though the experience is anything but. The object is to direct a golden ball around, across and even upside down through some truly ingenious 3D levels. The levels start out fairly simple with you moving the ball up, down, left and right across tiles. You also have the ability to jump across gaps using the X button. The actual goal is to collect all the sunflowers found in each level and then find the exit. |
The true puzzle solving takes place as you must take new types of tiles into consideration as you attempt to claim the sunflowers. At first, itís just cracked tiles that can only be moved onto once before they breaks. As you progress you will encounter ice blocks that will keep you moving in what ever direction your heading as well as spring boards that shoot you two tiles forward. Then you throw in some bends and the levels truly get dimensional.
And that is only the beginning of the fun as you encounter the firepits, sand tiles, teleportation plate, toggle switch plates and my personal favoriteÖ the invisible tile. The first time I gained access to the hidden tiles puzzle set I felt like I just stepped into an Indiana Jones "leap of faith" moment as I blindly rolled off a tile and just hoped that I chose the right direction to fall. These tiles only lightly glow when youíre on one or in the vicinity of one.
Puzzle Dimension has some wicked puzzles, but what I believe makes the whole experience enjoyable and addictive is the graphical presentation used. At the beginning of each puzzle the tiles you will travel across are pixilated like an old school 8bit world. However once you roll across or near connecting tiles they blossom into gorgeously detailed high resolution tiles. To make things better there are 4 available themes that you can choose to play the puzzles in. You get the first one, an old world royal design, for free but you need to collect a certain number of sunflowers to unlock the others. My personal favorite is the underwater theme which is a complete trip if youíre upside down in the puzzle. To add to the fun, Puzzle Dimension also supports 3D technology for those that have the tech to enjoy it.
Like the graphics, the sound department is equally impressive thanks to a progressive soundtrack. The music, much like the graphics, progress from classic 8bit upbeat catchy riffs to smoother melodies as you complete the puzzles. The music does repeat though it is completely unobtrusive and there is a very good chance that you will be hearing it over and over if you manage to make a wrong move. I also like all the little sound effects that the ball makes as it hits and rolls along the different surfaces.
There are 100 levels to challenge your puzzle-solving needs and each one is more complicated than the last. The cool thing about Puzzle Dimension is that you can do the puzzles in any order as you unlock them. So if you find a puzzle that you have trouble solving you can come back to it later. Besides completing each puzzle there is the somewhat adventurous task of going after one of Puzzle Dimensionís trophies which requires you to unpixelate all the tiles in the entire game. There are also several score based trophies that can be obtained, though there are no online features such as leaderboards, so the scoring is for your own person enjoyment.
Puzzle Dimension is a highly enjoyable experience that is remarkably beautiful and totally engaging with its challenging puzzles. The puzzle designs are ingenious and sometimes frustrating, but once you solve them its instant gratification. This is Doctor Entertainmentís first release and if their next one is as stunning as Puzzle Dimension I will definitely be on the bandwagon. I highly recommend picking up Puzzle Dimension for some pure fun in a dimension all its own.