I’ve reviewed simple games before, put none quite like Energy Cycle. That being said, there is still enough content here to have you entertained for a set amount of time. Simplicity works well in this instance.
The way Energy Cycle works is pretty straightforward. There are a number of lights that appear on-screen and it is your job to make sure that they are all the same colour to proceed. Sounds simple so far, and it is in theory. However, if you change one of the lights then all of lights on that row or column also change colour. As they are all scattered about, it is down to you to finish with all the lights being the same colour. This makes it relatively hard to finish a level very quickly. I found myself pondering over some of the levels for a far longer than I’d have hoped.
There are three main game modes available: puzzle mode, time attack and infinite play. With puzzle mode, there is a total of 28 levels that increase in difficulty as you progress. I certainly found some of the later levels to be particularly difficult, spending up to an hour on a few. Unfortunately, I was a little let down after realising that I had made to many moves in the levels meaning that I couldn’t continue. That being said, the other two game modes were there to make up for this.
Time attack is once again similar levels with the added challenge of completing it within a set time limit. Infinite play is similar in that it’s the same sort of levels but without the timer so you can you change the colourful orbs as much as you like. I found that infinite play was a good mode to play to train the skills and patterns used to beat the levels. This is also because the levels are randomised meaning I could apply these skills to the various difficulties.
A further mode that the developers decided to include was the ability to create your own levels to play. It confused me somewhat to why the developers felt the need to add this. Probably just to add more value to the game if you ask me. There is the ability to share these with friends too so I guess it is good to challenge your friends. But other than that, I couldn’t see myself spending a large amount of time making my own levels when I could have more fun playing randomised ones that are potentially more challenging.
Another issue I had with the game was the choice of music for the type of game that it is. This maybe just me, but I don’t usually listen to electro dance music when I’m trying to focus on solving a difficult puzzle. It just became too distracting in the end that I had to mute the audio. It just seemed like an unnecessary addition to the game that became more of a hinderance than anything else.
Energy Cycle is a good game to play in stages. I can compare it to Solitaire in that sense. It’s a great game to dip in and out of between playing other mainstream titles. The puzzles aren’t too simple and there is certainly a sense of achievement gained from finishing the harder levels in particular. It’s all the additional things that frustrate me about the game. The concept works really well, but it doesn’t need the level builder and the odd music choice in the background in my opinion. Imagine if in online Sudoku, the numbers started spinning constantly and classical music was played in the background, it would be odd. It’s just not needed. However, the game can be credited mainly for the concept as I feel that works really well.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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