REVIEW: Induction

Feb
19

REVIEW: Induction

Induction is a puzzle game set on 3D platform structures. You move a cube around, pushing cylinders into positions to open/close bridges to reach the exit node. The twist of the game is that you have to use multiple timelines of your own movement to solve the puzzle.

Steam: Released

Developer: Bryan Gale

Publisher: Bryan Gale

Release date: 7th of February, 2017

Genre: Casual, Puzzle

Type: Single-player

The overall difficulty is towards the upper end of the spectrum. It’s not for the faint-hearted. It can tie your brain in knots trying to picture in your head the looping sequences of cause and effect. If I solve this part over here, then that other part I was planning won’t work any more…

There is no timer, no scoring, no special/hidden elements, just pure, good quality puzzle solving with no distractions at all.

Control mechanisms are excellent and intuitive. I used a controller and it’s A to set a new timeline (the main focus of the puzzle); LT/RT to rewind/fast forward; Y to go back to the start; X to exit to level overview. There’s no camera rotation but this is not really necessary.There is no tutorial or text anywhere in the game. You’re introduced with a few easy levels to demonstrate the concepts, but it is confusing for a while. There were a couple of early levels that I solved without understanding how I’d done it. Eventually you do get the hang of it though.

Level overview is a minimal concentric circles design and as you select a completed level you see a moving replay of your own solution being played out. I was well impressed with this.

Sound & Vision

Nothing fancy, just a minimal, clean layout with basic shapes and gentle pastel colours. The colour theme changes when you jump to another timeline – I thought it was random until someone explained it, and now it makes sense.

Background music is bland and forgettable, in a good way. It certainly won’t interrupt your concentration.

Difficulty Bottlenecks

The only issue I have with this game is the linear nature of the level progression. Most puzzlers, and indeed most games in general, give you some degree of flexibility to move the game on. For example, allowing for an easier, lower quality solution so you can move on and then come back later for a better rating, or else branching the progression to give a choice of several different levels you can attempt to move on. Induction has none of this. You must complete one level before you can move on to the next, and there is only one solution – you either get it or not. Combine this with the fact that this has some very tough levels and you have a recipe for getting frustratingly stuck for long periods of time, with the rest of the game securely locked away.

While stuck on a particularly fiendish level, I could hear the mad Scotsman in my head from the end of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall: “If yer doohn’t eet yer meet yer can’t have any puddin’! Hoo can ye have any puddin’ if yer doohn’t eet yer meet?!” This meat is too tough, I want some pudding!

Performance

The system requirements are very low and it’s fully cross-platform. No glitches or annoyances. Should run well on any computer.

Steam

6 achievements and cloud support but no trading cards yet.

Value

50 levels may seem on the low side but the difficulty will increase your play duration somewhat, and the creative quality of the puzzles is top notch. The asking price is slightly high for me though, especially considering there is no replay value. I think I would wait for a small discount.

Verdict

The general mood of this game reminds me very much of increpare games’ work. It’s a no-frills, no-nonsense, tough puzzler for puzzle aficionados. If that appeals to you then I recommend you give it a go.

 

(click on the image to see the rating explanation)

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