Cryptica: Test your brain power in this ancient and exotic puzzle game!
As with all good puzzle games, they start off easy and then get you hooked. Cryptica is no different here except that initially everything seems very simple, but after a few rounds you’ll be left scratching your head for clues!
Gameplay: You’ve got some ancient blocks on a specially formed playing grid and the aim is to move them onto the special matching squares. Once you do that correctly then you’ll unlock more rounds. Don’t be fooled here though – this really isn’t as simple as it sounds. The problem is that when you move the blocks on the screen then all the loose blocks will fall in the same direction (if they can). Herein lies the brain teasing element because you need to figure out how to slide everything whilst also rearranging individual blocks. The trick is basically to use the terrain to resist and reorder your blocks. Sometimes it’s obvious… sometimes it’s insanely hard!
(Note in the image above, the colored stones are the ones you need to get to the target. The slightly lighter non-colored blocks are free moving stones. Then the very dark patterned squares are the non-movable walls.)
Interface: Simple vertical and horizontal swipes on the screen will control the direction which you want to move the blocks. This method is very intuitive and it’s difficult to imagine another decent setup. According to an article about their game design, they were going to have a D-pad – but that wouldn’t have been nearly as natural as what they have at the moment.
Graphics: Fully stylised ancient Inca/Aztec images… personally, I love it. It’s clean and simple, and yet it also has the smaller details of glowing blocks when you pass a level. All the colors and hues are just right to help immerse you in that ancient feel. It might be my imagination, but the blocks seem to move with some irregular momentum to give that slab pushing feeling.
Music and Sound Effects: I didn’t quite realise it at first, but there are very realistic forest sounds during a level. It’s got various tweeting birds giving the sense of an Amazonian Rainforest. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard those therapeutic relaxation
tapes CDs – but it’s even better than those! That aside, the stone grinding sound effects adds to the Babylonian theme. In case that wasn’t enough to throw you into an India Jones feel, the menu screen also has authentic tribal percussion music!
Puzzle Fun: Cryptica is some real brain taxing stuff… but it’s fun. I’ve played various kinds of block sliding games in the past (like Box it! 2), but I think this is the first one I’ve played where all loose blocks move in the same direction. What I find even more intruiging is the fact that this dynamic can be spanned over 120 puzzles of 4 levels of difficulty (36 puzzles in the Lite version).
A common problem amongst these tough puzzle games is the level progression – what happens when you get stuck on a level? No worries here though because the developers at Pixibots have made it so that you can unlock a series of levels. That means if you get stuck on one level, you can just skip ahead to the next one… Just hope that you don’t get stuck on 6 consecutive rounds in a row! (Which is very possible here!)
Rating: 4/5 Cryptica is one of the simplest and most elegant puzzle games out there. It caters for the casual random playing individuals and also tests hardcore intellects. Try out the lite version and definitely consider buying the full version if the puzzles pick your fancy – you should find it’ll give you several hours of fun!
Cryptica Promotional Youtube Video
Cryptica Tips from Android Games Review:
- Yes, the ads can be obtrusive and can distract your eyes. But you can play the game with the wifi or mobile internet turned off.
- The minimum moves are possible. If you’re finding yourself unable to get the minimum actions then focus on the micro moves/decisions right at the beginning of your chain of swipes. By doing this you may find yourself using one turn less.
- Sometimes you need to move around the whole stage to complete the level. Don’t be afraid of experimenting and testing things out.