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This novel game will put your spacial awareness to the test

Price: $3/£3
Version: 1.0.2
Size: 101 MB
Platform: iPhone/iPad

Get Optica

The more games we see on the App Store, the harder it is for new puzzlers to stand out. Optica, a recent release for iPhone and iPad, aims to cut above the rest by combining spatial challenge, optical illusions, and simple but addictive puzzler gameplay in one neat package.

In the app, gamers meet with three-dimensional compound shapes — cubes, essentially, which have been joined together. At each end of the shape is a glowing light, and players are tasked with tracing a path which leads along every visible face from one light to the other.

This game is all about perspective-shifting. By sliding your finger along the perspective arc, two cubes …

That might sound simple enough, but here’s the catch: some faces are only visible when you’ve shifted your perspective and have looked at the shape from a different angle. In this respect, and especially as the shapes become increasingly complex, gamers must continually shift their perspective in order to connect the two faces and light up their shape.

… become one compound shape.

Perspective-shifting is made possible thanks to an arc which appears on-screen; your view will change as you trace a finger along the arc, from one end to the other, revealing a new portion of your path. Thanks to Optica’s simple background, it’s difficult to tell which way is left, right, up, or down, and as you begin to shift perspectives more and more you’ll really feel the game’s name come into play.

Tracing a patch from one glowing face to the other reveals a light beam which spells the end of the level.

There are over 70 puzzles on offer in Optica, so you aren’t likely to get bored quickly. And whilst these puzzles may start simple, they soon get fiendishly difficult and incorporate multiple light-paths and detached shapes.

But the path you trace has to cross every visible face – even the faces which are only revealed after you shift perspectives.

Optica really is a satisfying app to use. Joining the game’s selection of puzzles is a relaxing soundtrack which complements the futuristic feel of the game perfectly, and a user interface which feels intuitive and well-designed. What’s nice is that most users will be able to comfortably play Optica one-handed, making it a great antidote for the boredom of queues or waiting rooms.

For a small price, Optica offers a great number of novel puzzles and gameplay which feels fresh. This game is a no-brainer for fans of the puzzler genre and is, in fact, difficult to criticize. The developers here have done a fantastic job.

Review: Optica – a mind-bending perspective puzzler
  • Fresh gameplay with a novel twist
  • Huge number of challenging puzzles
  • Great user interface and design
  • It's hard to criticise this well-designed game!
5.0Overall Score

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