The indie community is a great place to find innovative puzzle titles, and one of the best of those that I’ve played is this little number, Starzzle Seasons. Sure, it’s got a completely ridiculous name, but it’s the kind of quality that you might expect of a PopCap title or other, more established developer. I’m sure this has been done before, and in the recesses of my mind the main mechanic is definitely familiar, but it’s enough of a rarity to suggest that you take note of it.
In essence, you control one or two cutesy blocks with the aim of collecting a set amount of stars per level. The speed with which you collect them, the number of moves used and the number collected all determine your score. I’m not entirely sure how many levels there are, as the game boards were a little too much for my brain (I’ve never been the world’s greatest puzzle gamer), but there’s certainly enough there for a good few hours of play.
The two blocks serve different functions. One can collect stars and the other can be used to block the route and provide different avenues for the other. This sounds a little complex, but it’s easy to get to grips with, and by the second or third round, the mechanic is a natural one. The reason you need these two blocks rather than just the one is that the blocks can only travel in one direction and continue travelling until they hit an obstacle.
All in all it’s a clever little game with the potential to become quite popular. The audiovisual elements work well with the gameplay, and in general it’s a very coherent piece of work. Like most indie game, however, the rewards are limited to those you create yourself.
I can heartily recommend Starzzle Seasons to anyone with a yearning for some puzzling that’s a little bit different to the norm. For the money you get a fair amount of longevity, plenty of brain-teasing action and the feeling that what you’re playing is a good quality product.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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