Great new puzzler where the challenge comes from all angles
Size: 108 MB
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Perchang is a brand new puzzle game that’s just hit the App Store, but unlike the hundreds that seemingly appear every month, Perchang takes a different approach. We don’t mean it’s progressive, or has hit some kind of new design benchmark – if anything, Perchang has actively eschewed both the cartoony color-blast and the flatter 3D-shadow affect of modern games and instead created a simplistic 3D, pipe and fan-based, grayscale-embracing, series of levels that ends up looking more like your high school science fair project than anything representing modernity.
But the devil isn’t in the detail, it’s in the gameplay, and it’s where Perchang really excels. It takes awhile to get going, absolutely, with many of the early levels far too simplistic for their own good – but once you get stuck in there’s rich rewards.
This is how it works: There are lots of pipes, and these, matched up with other contraptions like pinball-style flippers or fans create each little puzzle. Each one has a pipe that spits out a number of balls, and each one has a receptacle to catch all these balls to complete the level. You get a gold, silver, bronze, or ‘pass’ medal depending on how fast you bounce, flip, blow and maneuver these balls to their goal to complete the level.
There’s other mechanics at play – most levels employ red and and blue elements, which can be controlled by corresponding on-screen buttons. These provide the mechanics for you to attempt to control the directions of the balls and can be switched with a tap on the screen. This adds an extra element of puzzle dynamics, leaving you to decide whether you should be controlling that element with a blue, a red, or even two elements with separate or the same colors.
In the end this produces some intriguing gameplay – on the one hand you have to first work out which elements to control and when, and which direction to send the ball in, which is the main element to many puzzle games. However, Perchang continues with the challenge by requiring the player to replay the levels over and over to get the requisite skill and timing to to direct the balls. The result is long term playability, especially if you want to get all gold medals – your silver-medal standard might not have just been you being slow, it might not have been the quickest method to complete the level – and that’s what we like in a puzzle game. It shouldn’t be a fast blast through the levels that can be completed in an afternoon. Perchang has longevity.
In conclusion, Perchang is an occasionally bawdy looking game. It’s not going to gain players on looks alone, but it is no doubt a unique and pleasant game to play and more than worth the money. There’s no IAPs – not even for hints, so you’re on your own with this one. But isn’t that the sign of a great puzzle game? Perchang’s 60 levels are more than worthy of your App Store dollar.