Developer: Maksym Dzitsiuk
Size: 132 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Whether or not you choose to buy into its zen-like metaphor for emptying yourself and simplifying your life, Empty. is a whole lot of fun.
It’s a casual one–finger puzzler with an easy-to-grasp concept – clear a series of multi–colored rooms of their contents by making each item disappear into the background. You’ll do this by dragging to rotate your perspective through 360 degrees.
If a midnight-blue lamp is held perfectly in front of a same-colored ceiling panel, to the point where you can’t see it any longer, it will be removed from the field of play altogether.
Once this straightforward rule has been established, the levels begin to layer and stack their components. In order to remove this orange typewriter, you might first need to disappear the table it’s standing on. But that’s obscured from its natural matching wall panel by a grey houseplant.
At a certain point, objects will start to signal a secondary color, indicating that their natural match will shift the relevant panel to an alternative shade, which then opens up a completely new matching possibility.
When you’re in a rhythm with these cascading color-matching teasers, Empty. is utter bliss. Its block-colored rooms are a real salve to the eyes, and the ambient soundtrack, too, serves as a cleansing aural wash. We also appreciated the gnomic phrases that manifest between levels, requiring you to rotate and de-jumble before reading.
Just about the only point of friction comes from the odd snag in the core rotation system itself. Occasionally you’ll find an angle that you’ll swear blind is valid, but won’t get the necessary confirmation from the game. At others, you’ll wonder why an object has clicked into place when it did.
Niggles and minor glitches aside, Empty. is a smooth, relaxing puzzler that largely glides by. Even the developer’s generous monetisation system – free, with no ads or DLC, and all financed through donations – seems engineered to reduce tension.
We could all do with a little of what Empty. has to offer right now.
- Beautifully stylish graphics
- Tactile colour-matching mechanic
- Lack of ads and monetisation
- Perspective system occasionally fails