Developer: Sometimes You
Publisher: Evgeniy Kolpakov
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Puzzles, Board Games, Party & Music
Release Date: 25th of December, 2017 (EU & NA)
Looking for a very cheap and simplistic meditative puzzle game you can play on the go, with the touch of a finger? Well, look no further.
Developed by Sometimes You, Energy Cycle is a puzzle game made with Unity that has been brought to the likes of Steam, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita and PlayStation4, and then on Christmas day, 2017, it landed on Switch. Only don’t go expecting it to be the gift it could have been, because if you have yet to try it, as a game that only costs $2.99, there is a reason why it is so cheap.
There is nothing wrong with a game that is small in size and content, provided the content is good, addictive and the soundtrack is good enough that it warrants listening to, over and over, only this is not exactly the bill that Energy Cycle happens to fit. The game’s music hails from various artists that’s happened to be uploaded to Sound Cloud and the actual content is so minimal, you can’t help but think Energy Cycle might actually be better off being a game released on mobile devices instead, which at this time, it isn’t. But before we put you off Energy Cycle for good, we will of course talk about the good points of the game and what you can do with it.
The main campaign is a Puzzle mode, where 28 pre-designed puzzles await you, which range from very easy to mind-bogglingly mental. There’s a Time Attack mode where you have just one minute beat a random puzzle before the timer reaches 0, but should you beat a puzzle, you will advance to the next layer and earn yourself another 20 seconds to play with that gets added on top of whatever time you have left. As for the last mode, it’s Infinity Play, which is pretty much exactly the same as Time Attack, as beating a puzzle will see you met with another one, except this time around, there is no time, only puzzles that just keep on coming until you eventually grow bored of them.
With regards to how to play Energy Cycle, the general gameplay and premise of Energy Cycle, is a very easy one, as all you need to do is turn each of the cells in the game field, to the same colour, only there is a little more to it to that. If a cell is adjacent to another one, be it horizontally and vertically, by changing the colour of it, you will also change the colour of the cell or cells next to it. What this means is of course, whilst in the earlier on stages where you can pretty much press on any cell you want to change its colour, there will come a point where things are no longer as easy as that, because soon you’ll have to figure out which cells are the ones you should be changing and which ones you should be leaving, until the time is right and just in case you’re wondering, when playing Puzzle mode, every time you beat a puzzle, it will tell you how many moves it took you to complete the map.
Now, aside from the club like visuals that take up the background, and the fact the colours of the cells can be changed when in the pause screen (+ button) the best feature Energy Cycle possesses comes to control settings. While the likes of a Pro Controller are supported, so are touch-screen controls that are very responsive and speed up gameplay, so if the action is a little too slow when doing everything whilst docked, you can always undock your Switch and have at it for as long as you like until you grow bored, or have something better to play.
While I can see it appealing to some puzzle fans, Energy Cycle is a game that really is just too small for its own good, but because it is so cheap, it is something you can purchase and not think twice about it. What I will say about Energy Cycle though, is although it won’t be a game you’ll greatly enjoy, do not let it affect what you think of Sometimes You and Evgeniy Kolpakov, as more games for Switch are on the way and while Energy Cycle does not go toe-to-toe with a number of the great puzzle games we have on Switch already, their next offering does have the potential to be better as Energy Cycle did not set the bar as high as it could have done.
THE VERDICT: 5/10
*Review Key Provided by Evgeniy Kolpakov & Sometimes You
This post was written by Solid Jack