Games with minimal aesthetics are often equated with simple gameplay but here's Induction to prove such games can blow your mind.
At its core, Induction is a simple game where all you try to do is reach each level's goal. You do so by moving your little cube around which makes it flop onto its sides so you could consider this a grid-based practical puzzler. Anyway, things start out simply enough by slowly introducing the core gameplay as you climb short walls, push objects to outlines in order to extend bridges, and such. However, things take a sharp turn when time travel is introduced. And here we thought this would be an easy-breezy puzzler! 😅
Upon holding a particular button, you can create an alternate timeline thus cloning yourself only for your past self to move as you did up until that point while your current self can roam freely. I can tell already that some folks reading this might be thinking, "Welp, this isn't for me." If you are thinking that then you might be right because Induction is the sort of puzzler for those who really want put test their puzzle-solving abilities to the test so if you want a relaxing carefree time, this probably isn't for you. Thankfully, I love it. 😊
The things you'll end up accomplishing throughout Induction's 50-stage campaign are truly mind-boggling. Working together with your former self while trying to get the timing just right in order to deal with collapsing bridges, give yourself a ride, push objects to their goals which triggers stage features, carefully drop objects from ledges, and such can be an intimidating formula but once it clicks and you solve a stage, the reward is well worth the journey. Plus, you can rewind time and make adjustments as you go which is handy.
Of course, I must mention the lovely visual aesthetic which is both minimal and colourful. In fact, these screenshots fit my beautiful website quite well, don't they? On top of the eye-catching style, the cubes and stages are animated well and things really start to get somewhat bustling and livelier once you put your puzzle solution in motion. Not only is it a treat to look at, Induction also features an ambient soundtrack that makes for a perfect backdrop for puzzle-solving and I enjoy how it changes when you enter the menu.
As I mentioned, Induction will only appeal to those who want a truly noodle-scratching puzzler but on top of that, I wish that certain aspects were easier to gauge. You can incorporate a grid so you can see how you line up with the stage but it doesn't always help, especially when dropping objects from ledges. Sometimes, they'll go where you want them to but other times, they'll be one square off so you can imagine how frustrating it is rewinding in order to figure out how to remedy such a simple mistake. 🙄
Induction is perhaps the most satisfying puzzle game that I've played all year but that level of satisfaction can only be achieved after lengthy periods of carefully fine-tuning your solutions. This won't appeal to everyone but I like it and that's all that matters, right?
- + Challenging practical puzzles with super-clever designs and mechanics
- + Lovely colourful and minimal visual aesthetic
- + Solid amount of levels / atmospheric music
- - Casual puzzle fans may be put off by the overall steep degree of difficulty
- - It's a bit too hard to gauge how to line things up in some levels