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Review: Samsara (PC)By crackedthesky At 09.04.2018 16:00

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The first few levels exist to teach players the mechanics of the game: Zee can't jump, and can only traverse wooden blocks on her same level. Dropping any distance will cause her to perish, and hitting a wall will make her turn around and run the other way - something that eventually becomes a puzzle mechanic. Things soon take quite the turn, however - outside of basic rotating, players cannot manipulate the blocks they place to help Zee move, which means no flipping them over. Instead, a reflection exists on the lower half of the screen, usually in the form of a body of water. Placing the blocks in this area will cause them to reflect back up into the main game, giving players the ability to place the blocks in positions and places they couldn't before.

A surprising amount of content waits below the surface of Samsara. These simple mechanics are put to genius use, offering many differing puzzles that will require thought and trial-and-error. It's not a game that will take the average player more than a few hours to beat, but it's priced accordingly so. That being said, the game is sparse when it comes to sound and story, often being very quiet, and with basically no dialogue or text to provide any backstory or characterisation. This is a minimalistic approach and not necessarily a bad one, but while some might liken the technique to something like a short film (think the first few minutes of Pixar's Up), it also makes the game feel somewhat like an app store mini-game.

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Final Score
[i]Samsara[/i] Is a solid effort and a fun puzzle game. While it lacks in the sound and story departments, the puzzles are clever and the developer shows a masterful use of its own engine and mechanics. This is a must-try for fans of puzzle games, although the average gamer isn't likely to find a lot in it to bring them into the genre if they aren't already fans of it. At times, it feels like it would be right at home on a tablet app store, but the price-tag is fair for the amount of puzzles the game holds, and how much variation they have.



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