Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Frozen Equilibrium - 0.99 (Suricatum)

Frozen Equilibrium is a new puzzle game from Suricatum. In it, you’ll be given more than 100 stages to solve. You’re thrown into an ice world where everything was in balance at zero, but this has been disturbed. Your goal is to set everything back to normal by pressing on one of nine blocks at a time, getting all blocks back to 0. When you press a block down, the block above it, below it, and the block on the right and on the left are pushed up, and this set of which blocks are effected changes as you go through the game. When you push on a block, the number decreases, for instance, from 2 to 1. The blocks that are effected around it are pushed up, for instance, from -2 to -1. You’re given a certain number of pushes to set all the blocks back to 0. It might sound a little complicated, but once you start playing, it’s really not.
The game is pretty original, as it’s taken the puzzle mechanics of games like All Up, and taken it a step further, and thrown a bunch of math into it. Now, with a game like this, content is almost as important as the gameplay, and with over 100 stages, it’s got plenty. The graphics are top notch, very polished, and with the music and effects, and nice physics of the ice blocks, it adds a lot to the atmosphere of the game, which you don’t see too often with puzzle games. Even though the atmosphere of a puzzle game doesn’t really add much to the gameplay, with Frozen Equilibrium, it’s helped add some story to the game.
It definitely is one of those puzzle games that you’ll be bashing your head against a wall to figure out solutions for, but once you do, you feel kinda stupid for not figuring it out sooner. Levels ahead of the level you’re on are also unlocked, so if you’re having trouble with a stage, you can just skip it and come back to it later. This game desperately needs GameCenter leader boards and achievements, along with a scoring system. There are in-game achievements, but no way to see which ones you’ve unlocked, or what more of them are. There is, however, a 2 player ‘Dual’ mode, in which you and a friend can make puzzles for each other, whoever finishes the fastest wins, but again, there’s no online feature here, so you’ll be stuck trying to find a friend that’s willing to play a game that’s more like an IQ test with you. But for a stand-alone puzzle game, it’s one of the most challenging that I’ve ever played.
Frozen Equilibrium could use some online features, and a couple more game mechanics, but it’s a solid puzzle game for the iOS. If you’re a math freak, or just into puzzle games, this is a game that you’re sure to enjoy. For a buck, it's got loads of content, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

I’m giving Frozen Equilibrium a score of 3/5.


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