An enjoyable puzzle game with a great level design combined with beautiful music and painting.
Release date: 1 Dec, 2020
Lynn , The Girl Drawn On Puzzles looks like a Chinese game at first glance with the oriental paintings and Chinese characters on it. You’ll be in for a surprise if you think that way since the game turns out to be made by Koreans, which was made apparent by the language used in both the BGM and dialogues. The mix of Chinese and Korean elements are different, yet blends well together.
Since the game uses the paper world as the setting, the use of traditional paintings, which are made from ink, are heavily used in the game. Most backgrounds are in black and white with Chinese art elements such as bamboo or mountains in them. The game gives the oriental look, although there are some Korean elements included in it. Dokkaebis, Korean goblins, are made as enemies, while the main character can be seen wearing Korean traditional costume. Despite the cultural differences, both blend very well with the hand-drawn look.
The game has 3 stories that connect to the main story. The spinoff story is a charming one where you play as a chipmunk, living its usual life of collecting acorns that it loves so much. It feels like I was reading a children’s book due to how cheerful it is. The other two stories, on the other hand, are closely tied together by telling the story from 2 different points of view. Both are written very well and the beautiful drawings, as well as the soothing music accompanying it, help to set the right atmosphere for the story.
You need to move your character from the start to the goal to finish the levels, although you can only move by moving yourself between the boxes. Although it might look simple at first, more obstacles and mechanics will be introduced as you play the game, increasing the difficulty. Strangely, the tutorial for the new mechanics is always introduced on the last level of each chapter despite the mechanics being introduced at the beginning of the chapter. Luckily, it wasn’t such a big deal since you can manually choose the last level to read it. Besides, you don’t need to read it most of the time since they are easy to understand.
The game also offers different gameplay in one of the stories. The gameplay is similar to Move the Block : Slide Puzzle, where you have to move some blocks to reveal the path to the exit. However, instead of moving a certain block to the exit, you’re supposed to move the blocks so that you can move the main character to the goal, similar to how it works in the main game. Although there are not many levels in this mode, they still provide a good challenge with the difficulty at the later levels.
The game offers a challenge by giving a star-like system to beat the game in less than the predetermined amount of moves. However, it doesn’t seem to be as strict as other puzzle games since there were some levels that I finished with more than 10+ moves left. It might be because there are more than one ways to solve the levels and I might have finished the levels in a different way than the developers designed, but it’s still something. It’s still worth it to finish every level with full stars though since you’ll unlock bonus levels and a hidden ending from it.
Length and Difficulty
I finished the sliding puzzle levels in 74 minutes, the main levels in 7.1h, and the bonus levels in 2.4h. The rest of my playtime was spent trying to figure out the rest of the achievements, which I couldn’t seem to finish at this time of writing (Feb 1, 2021). Puzzles are easy at the beginning although it will become harder as you solve more levels.
The game also offers a hint system in case you’re stuck. I found it to be useful since I got stuck several times and the partial step-by-step instruction that the hint gives help me to finish the levels without being spoiled too much – I still need to think hard to solve the levels. Luckily, there is no penalty to finish the game with it. The hint doesn’t available in the sliding puzzle levels although you don’t have to worry much about it since those levels don’t have the 3-star system – you just need to solve the levels to be done with it. They are also not very hard to beat since you just need to keep on trying to make the blocks move to the position that you want.
There is one bug where the mechanic doesn’t work as intended, making one level to be difficult to solve. The developers are already aware of it and passed it to the programmers, so it should be fixed sometime soon. There is no other problem except that the game feels a bit stiff due to the lack of feedback when you click or hover on anything. You also need to know Chinese a bit to read the number of moves you have left to finish the levels in 3 stars.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
I have to praise the level designer to make such interesting levels. It’s hard to make a puzzle game to be fun and challenging while keeping the players to be entertained at the same time. They also did a clever job by separating the levels into several chapters, placing the easier ones in the first half of the chapter and the harder ones in the latter half. New mechanics keep on being introduced in each chapter, but not without overusing them to make the game confusing.
The upbeat music also does a great job in lifting the mood to keep on playing the game. If you are still giving up with all that, the game offers you a hint system as a way to cheer you up and keep going. With everything that the game has to offer, it’s hard to say no to the game, unless if you really hate puzzle games.