Game: The Architect
Developer: Spooky Star
Relase Date: Jun 4, 2015
When I visited the rest of the Indietabletop team in Washington state, I learned that I am obsessed with puzzle games. I love being able to work hard at something to solve some sort of problem. It is definitely something that I find really rewarding, and feeds into my perfectionist attitude. While visiting the EMP museum in Seattle, Washington, I stumbled across Monument Valley, a really minimal and highly intuitive puzzle that, in my opinion, ended way too soon. I spent about 3 days playing the game and its entirety (including the expansion) and was left mourning for the loss of my first puzzle game.
Luckily, I was introduced to The Architect by Spooky Star, and boy, has this game been fulfilling to my puzzle game needs. It offers minimalism in the sense that the overall theme is pretty consistent throughout, but the complexity comes with the complexity of a transparent cubic box. Or shall I say, the complexity of hella transparent cubic boxes. The game is very straight forward and does not require much instruction, however what I did enjoy from the game was the progression of learning about the complexity of the game. You will first be introduced to the overall feel of the game–you know you must collect in order to use, and the game begins to build difficulty from then on. Throughout the first few levels, you learn the importance of using your ups and downs sparingly, because making too many mistakes could leave you stuck and having to start the level over. What I particularly appreciate about this game is that you must earn your ability to bring the cubes downward and upward by collecting either green or blue orb-like objects. I love that the game forced you to think strategically current and future moves, because a couple slip ups could mean that you need to start the round over.
I was initially only planningto play the game for about 30 minutes between studying, but I ended up playing for 3 times the amount of time. The Architect requires patience and strategy, but also requires that you take perspective and/or point of view into account. The cubes that you are dealing with are stacked with different heights, and they are fairly transparent, meaning you could easily drop your cursor into a hole that you did not see otherwise. Playing around with your point of view could easily help you plan your next move, and forgetting that you have that option while playing could be end up keeping you stuck on the game for 3 times the amount of time (oops, guilty) than you initially thought you would.
I argue that The Architect is a game that will fulfill your puzzle and problem solving needs. It is equal parts strategy and patience, while being perfectly crafted for the more abstract eye. Although this game isn’t as intuitive as the first puzzle game I’ve played, I really enjoy the amount of hard work required to get to the next level. These levels get progressively harder, but with that, you are so much more inclined to put in even more work in order to prevail. Overall, great game and really well crafted. I appreciate all the thought that went into developing this game.