Can you cut it? No, seriously…Can you? This game aims to find out.
Cutting a shape into pieces. When I was first told the concept of this game, my initial reaction was “Is that it?” Don’t be deceived, while the premise is simple, this game is not a total walk in the park and it will eat away at you gradually if you let it.
Puzzle games usually come in two varieties, the fast and frantic “ACT NOW” variety and the “take your time and think” variety. This game is the latter (though there is a mode with a bit of the former too). You are given a shape, told the victory conditions, told how many cuts you have to achieve it, then left to your own mental devices. Easy right? Well, kinda…Sometimes.
The objectives start out simple enough, almost too easy, but just when you let your guard down that’s when you’ll see the “FAIL” screen and wonder “Wait, what?” That will be your downfall. Just when the game seems too simple for you, you will fail. Once you fail, a fire will spark within you. You will tell yourself “No, this puzzle will not defeat me!” Then…you start cutting again. The amount of spiteful vendettas this cute, unassuming puzzle game will have you forming is shocking…I guess it’s doing something right. Even when you complete a puzzle, that isn’t all there is to it. Each puzzle has a star ranking of 1 to 3, depending on how well you did completing the puzzle, and by that it usually seems to just measure how similar all your cut pieces are size-wise. So even though you’re “done” with a puzzle, you might want to come back later and improve your 1 star ranking to a 3 star one.
Eventually, there will be times when you’re just COMPLETELY stumped. When this happens you have two options: skip to the next and come back later OR use one of your “hints.” The game starts you with 5 hints that you can use on any puzzle. Once used, the game will show you one of the cuts you need to make in order to succeed. The hints do not replenish on their own though, so use sparingly. In order to earn more hints you have to put some work into the other more frantic mode I mentioned, the “quick” mode.
In the Quick mode you’re given 30 seconds to complete as many puzzles as you can one after the other. Completing a puzzle brings on the next one. Completing a puzzle perfectly brings on the next one and adds 3 seconds to your timer. Failing a puzzle brings on the next and subtracts 3 seconds from your timer. As you can imagine, this gets pretty frantic. Your reward for playing this mode is for every 20 puzzles you complete (in a single play) you get another hint point for use in the other mode. So your options for this game are: Get better or get fast…and better.
There are plenty of regular puzzles to keep you going for a while. Add that with the Quick mode (whether you enjoy the mode or you’re just farming hints) and you’ve got a decent amount of play time in this unassuming game. To top that off there are “missions” you can complete…Which are really just a fancy way of saying achievements or trophies or what not. So there are things to keep you coming back.
The graphics are simple and have a sort of “grade school kid’s notebook” feel to it (which was the intention I think). Nothing to really get excited over. The music does not stand out much either. There is an elevator musicy, rag-time feel to the background music. Let’s face it though, you aren’t here for either of those things…You’re here to cut shapes into other smaller shapes, so they really don’t matter that much.
The controls work, but are slightly cumbersome in my opinion. First of all, you hold your 3ds on its side like a book (For the record, I HATE when games do this). You make your cuts with the stylus by drawing straight lines, then you can use the analog to adjust the other end of the line from where your stylus is before you finish the cut. It all works, it just isn’t the most comfortable setup ever. That is just a minor complaint, the game isn’t frantic enough for it to ever be a real issue though. Honestly it probably won’t be a problem for most people, I just never “clicked” with book-mode games.
Overall the game is a decent little puzzler. Whether or not you’re cut out for it will depend heavily on your tolerance for being made to feel dumber than you believe yourself to be. When you just can’t figure out how to cut this certain shape into 9 pieces with 2 moves, you will begin to doubt yourself. However if you persevere, you will become a full fledged geometry ninja in no time~