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The Sense Point: a hand-crafted puzzle adventure

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Developer: Mikhail Ichshenko
Price: Free to start ($4.99/£4.49 full unlock)
Size: 1.3 GB
Version: 1.09
Platform: iPhone & iPad

The Sense Point

The Sense Point is a hugely ambitious point-and-click adventure made entirely by hand, with a charming claymation aesthetic that puts us in mind of Dreamworks’ 90s classic The Neverhood.

It’s a classic puzzle adventure: explore the world, collect items, solve riddles. But it’s a game that will divide mobile gamers. While a certain type of player will delight in its tricksy puzzles and lack of hand-holding, others will find the puzzle logic too obtuse and the runtime frustratingly short.

Case in point: there’s no dialog, no tutorials, and no tooltips to guide you. A somewhat abstract series of hints are released on a timer, forcing you to keep trying before taking a clue. We don’t mind this approach, but a cursory scan of the App Store reviews shows that it’s definitely a sore point for some players. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Despite the presentation feeling slightly unpolished (more sound effects and a slicker UI would be nice) the game’s hand-made plasticine world, jaunty stop-frame animation, and calming soundtrack are superb. The whole thing has a very nostalgic feel to it – in a good way – and these details may be enough to win over those on the fence.

The fingerprints on the clay, the shadows on the backdrops, and the tactile feeling of manipulating levers and switches with a finger are all wonderful. The world looks great, although some of the puzzles feel a bit samey, with lots of symbols and switchboards to contend with.

The Sense Point a free download, with a brief opening section to test the waters before the game asks for a $5 IAP to unlock the rest of Chapter 1. Bear in mind that further chapters haven’t been made yet, which results in a somewhat abrupt end to the experience – but an undertaking like this takes time and money, so it’s worth supporting if you’d like to see more.

The effort here is certainly to be applauded and although it doesn’t reach the heights (or the length) of our favorite hand-crafted puzzler Lumino City, fans of the genre should definitely check The Sense Point out for themselves.