Puzzle Dimension PS3 Review

Publisher – Doctor Entertainment – Developer – Doctor Entertainment – Genre – Puzzle – Players – 1 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

If Puzzle Dimension (available to download from the PlayStation Network right now) reminds you of 1998’s Kula World, well that’s because the designer of the game, Jesper Rudberg, was involved in its development. According to Puzzle Dimension’s official site, the game was created as many were asking for a modern day equivalent to Kula World, well we certainly have it with Puzzle Dimension.

If you’re familiar with Kula World, then the idea powering Puzzle Dimension should pop straight into your head. For those that don’t know, you roll a ball along platforms, avoiding obstacles, making jumps and finding all the objects (here, they’re sunflowers) and heading to an exit gate to solve the level. Sounds pretty straightforward, don’t you think? Indeed it is, but whilst the concept is simple, many of the puzzles most certainly aren’t.

A certain flower may appear to be an easy picking, although it's no good if you trap yourself somewhere, or manage to find all the flowers but are then unable to reach the exit.

In fact, the difficulty does start picking up pretty quickly. Finding every single one of the sunflowers in a level can be a very tall task – you may know where they are, but reaching them is another mind bending thing entirely. Puzzle Dimension certainly does pose a stiff challenge over its 100 levels (split into ten clusters, each of which is comprised of ten puzzles), but it’s also an addictive and charismatic puzzler, and at least you can play with the knowledge that you’ll never run out of time, as stages are completely free of any such limits. But, if you’re looking to score big, a points multiplier does add in some urgency.

When platforms begin to crumble, protrude spikes or to turn to ice, when levels start deviously twisting around, and when teleporters and launch pads appear, all of these things help and hinder your quest to get hold of the requisite number of sunflowers on each level.  Also, the game gives you a rather distorted – and initially confusing – view of up and down, which can be tricky to determine the solution when sunflowers are placed out of reach in upper or lower areas in a stage. You’ll certainly have to make liberal use of the camera rotation during these levels. Furthermore, you can’t move the ball diagonally and you can only manoeuvre in 90 degree angles, which also made me wonder if developer Doctor Entertainment were trying everything in their power to make me fail a puzzle.

But Puzzle Dimension definitely has a pull and a satisfying level of challenge. It’s one of those puzzle games that requires plenty of forward thought and makes you feel really clever when you finally work out where you have been going wrong, and, if you’re anything like me, you may find yourself getting lucky sometimes – achieving something accidentally that you wouldn’t be able to repeat again if you tried for the rest of your days.

If this looks difficult, that's simply because it is.

The game also looks and sounds unique. When you begin a level things look rather blocky and retro flavoured, but with your progress, these things start transforming into something a bit more modern and smoothed out in appearance. The likeable tunes are the same – starting with high pitched 8-bit beeps and then becoming more modern to the ears, although in no way is this audio metamorphous as noticeable as the visuals.

Puzzle Dimension, then, is a tough, frustrating and evil game, but it’s also one that is clever, addictive and challenging enough to satisfy the appetite of any serious puzzle game fan. There are 100 intelligent puzzles here to wade through which combines both puzzle solving and platforming, and your mind will start working in different ways as you strive to complete as many as possible of them. For the very fair price of £7.99, if you’re a puzzle fan this comes as a high recommendation.