Quirky puzzle games like reky have always intrigued me. Ones that redefine the norm of a puzzle game, yet stay true to its core. Whilst most such games in the genre are defined by their mechanics, others often combine other gameplay aspects to cohesively create and bring together an experience. Recently, many indie games have incorporated visuals, sound and text to heighten play.
In beyondthosehills’ latest mobile offering, reky, you are a small black sphere. You must use your abilities to traverse the quirky landscape of the game and make your way to the next level. You are able to perform six actions that will assist you in getting your goal — a small black portal that leads to the next level.
You can tap a space to move there, which will cost you moves. Apart from that, you can absorb colour from coloured cubes and pass them on to other white cubes. This is important as only coloured cubes can be moved. Different colours result in different patterns of movement, so choose wisely!
I thoroughly enjoyed how the minds behind reky provided a challenging yet fun experience with just six actions throughout the entire game. You are constantly innovating solutions to get to the exit portal.
But beware — sometimes the cake is a lie.
Later levels have multiple portals that transport you within the level itself and only the chosen one leads you onward. You have to find out which of the many portals is the true exit. This leads to a lot of trial-and-error gameplay, which makes finding the real thing all the more rewarding.
Remember that moving costs you moves? reky has a scoring system based on that.
The more moves you use, the lower your final score will eventually be. Initially, most of us would end up using more moves than the optimal number to find the solution. Moves are counted in terms of ‘jumps’, which means that absorbing and passing on colour as well as sliding coloured cubes cost you no moves at all.
Though the game itself is very fun (I spent about three to four hours straight playing it), the only way to get the perfect score for each level is through one particular movement pattern, which requires a precise amount of jumps.
It would be interesting to see if the team behind reky could reward players for completing each puzzle with different movement patterns as this would encourage more creative puzzle-solving. A player would not be stuck trying to figure out what the precise movement pattern is.
Perhaps an update could allow players to solve the puzzle in a different way with the same number of jumps?
The minimalist design of reky lends it both visual and gameplay appeal. I picked up on a lot of physics concepts as I scratched my head over some of the slightly Escher-esque puzzles. reky doesn’t reinvent the wheel but still remains true to the core of physics-based puzzles.
Puzzles have been with us since the dawn of time. They were used to entertain and sometimes test our mental mettle. beyondthosehills does both at once, resulting in a challenge that looks as good as it plays.
I’m still attempting one of the levels in Stage B to get the elusive perfect score but I’m having fun with it, and that is what matters most.