Developer: Wahler Digital LLC
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Ridiculous Fishing aside, we haven’t seen too many mobile games attempting to play with the tactile mechanics of fishing. SiNKR 2, like its predecessor, aims to redress that balance in artfully abstract and brain scrambling fashion.
This is a game of dragging pucks into slots using hooks and reels. Put like that it all sounds rather prosaic, like so much busywork. But SiNKR 2 is nothing of the sort.
Opening up one of SiNKR 2’s gridded levels and pressing one of the game’s hexagonal buttons will reel in the attached hook. Any pucks in the way of that hook will be scooped up. You can flip the orientation of said hook by tapping it.
The skill comes in manipulating those pucks using your limited toolset. This will involve transferring those pucks from hook to hook, and paying close attention to the order you tackle each task in. Hooks will only reel in one way, you see – unless you can use another hook to pull them in the opposite direction.
You’ll also find that pucks can be linked together when they touch, enabling you flick them around en masse. Still other pucks will only fit in certain slots, complicating things significantly.
SiNKR 2’s abstract aesthetic does wonders to sell its premise. There’s a slightly spacey tinge to the backgrounds, while the game grids, hooks and reels call to mind an electrical diagram. All this is accompanied by a meditative ambient soundtrack, with every touch of a button playing a single piano note over the top. The effect is nothing short of blissful.
Which turns out to be very useful, because SiNKR 2 has plenty of moments where you’ll find yourself sat staring at the screen for minutes on end, not even interacting with the game directly. Every stage needs to be thought through carefully before you make a move given the one-way nature of the core mechanic. There’s a solitary back-up button, but it will only really catch those moments of instant regret.
Thankfully, there’s the option to try another level if you’re truly stumped, which mitigates a fair amount of potential frustration.
We’re seeing it a lot more these days, but we still greatly appreciate the option to play the game in portrait or landscape. True, the actual process of flipping your phone over and changing said perspective isn’t as fluidly handled as in other games. But it works, and it’s most welcome.
SiNKR 2 isn’t a game for the impatient or those who like the option to fall back on trial and error. It’s a slow, considered, thoughtful game that will hook you in if you let it.