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Review: The Enchanted World is magically resurrected puzzler

Developer: Noodlecake
Price: $3.99/£3.99
Size: 679.6 MB
Version: 2.1.4
Platform: iPhone & iPad

The Enchanted World

We’re used to seeing classic iOS games being re-released on Apple Arcade by now, but The Enchanted World is an unusual case of the reverse happening.

Having been all but lost in the flood of outstanding titles at the launch of Apple’s subscription service back in 2019, it now has a second shot at success as a premium App Store release with a free intro.

Your fairy can move before the path is complete

Naturally, it needed very little modification, so it’s essentially the same polished tile-sliding puzzler set in a stylized, low-poly fantasy world.

You take on the role of a magically imbued fairy, who can make trees flower and make rabbits dance with a tap. More importantly, you can also rearrange the path tiles before you, which have been jumbled up by a malignant force. The horror!

Touching on incidental elements makes the world spring into life

Anyo old school gamers who recall the classic Pipe Mania – or, a little more recently, the hacking mini-game in Bioshock – will be right at home here. Tiles containing variously alighned bends and straights must by switched around until they once again form a single line between two points.

Once complete, your fairy will be able to progress to the next level, and indeed to subsequent themed worlds.

Rerouting water is one of the more satisfying elements

Here’s where we should issue a warning, rather than a criticism. Regardless of what the child-friendly graphics might tell you, your brain really needs to be wired in a certain way to appreciate The Enchanted World.

Unless you want to brute force your way through puzzles, you’ll need to be able to figure out how to shuffle tiles tied together in a restrictive ‘conveyor belt’ priority system. You’re not switching adjacent tiles here, but rather moving rows and columns along, which can make minor adjustments very tricky to figure out without disrupting the whole grid.

There’s a dark fairytale vibe to the setting

We’re not ashamed to admit that our own brains aren’t naturally inclined to figuring out such puzzles without a great deal of concentration, and during the game’s tougher puzzles we found ourselves impatiently swiping around almost at random.

This isn’t really a criticism of the game as such, but those expecting a gentle, casual puzzler might be in for a rude awakening.

It’s a shame you can’t skip ahead to other worlds

For those who are wired the right way, The Enchanted World is a charming, beautifully presented puzzler with more than a hint of magic about it.