Inside Pulse 12

Review: Energy Cycle (PC)

energycyclecoverEnergy Cycle
Publisher: Sometimes You
Developer: Sometimes You
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date: 01/13/2016

Energy Cycle is a perfect fit for those who like the kind of puzzles you can find in a Hidden Object Game. We’ve all so seen those puzzles where you have to click on objects in a grid in order to get them all to match colors, and that’s exactly what this is. It adds a few extra modes to spice things up, as well as a thirty or so “puzzle” levels. For a buck, this is a fairly decent game.

energycycle3When you start the game, you’ll have three game types to choose from. “Puzzle” mode gives you one level at a time to complete at your leisure. The idea is to change each node so that they are all the same color, and the game keeps track of the number of moves you use, but there isn’t a leader board to climb. “Time Attack” is what you’d expect; you have a set amount of time to complete as many random puzzles as you can. “Infinite Play” lets you keep going until you don’t want to go anymore. You can’t restart a level though; you’ll have to go back to the menu instead. It’s odd.

There’s also a level editor. You’re given a 7×7 grid of nodes. You can remove or place a node on any spot, and then change colors by clicking on them as you would any other puzzle. When you’re done, you can have the game generate a code that is saved to your clipboard. This can be shared outside of the game, and players and can enter that code in the “Puzzle” menu in order to play it. It’s not an ideal setup, but it will allow you to share your creations.

As far as the presentation goes, it’s serviceable. Imagine the sound visualizer programs you’d use back in the day, and you’ll have an idea of what the backgrounds look like. Beyond that, the nodes glow and exude energy, which is nice. The game has two different visual settings, including one that helps out players with color blindness, which is pretty nifty. The music is some generic electronic stuff that quickly fades into the background. It’s okay, but it won’t stick with you five seconds later. It definitely feels like a dollar game, although I’ve seen more expensive games that look worse.

You can use the mouse or keyboard to play the game. Essentially, all you do is click on nodes to change their color. The catch is that clicking on one node will activate all other perpendicular nodes, meaning all in a row or a column. The exceptions are those separated by a gap. Imagine that 7×7 grid I mentioned earlier. If two nodes are next to each other, they will change each other when one is pressed. If there’s a missing node between them, they won’t activate each other at all.

energycycle4The puzzles get fairly tricky early on. You’ll often get to the point where just a single node is off, but clicking on it will mess with over a dozen more. For the non-timed modes, you can sit back and plan your next few moves in order to get back on track. When you are timed however, there’s a lot more pressure to click things until something good happens.

You can probably clear everything the game has to offer in a couple of hours if you’re skilled at this kind of thing. From there, you can try and share codes with other players, or simply try to top your own high score in time attack. There’s not a lot of content, but again, there didn’t need to be. This game only costs a buck, and it’s more than worth that asking price if you’re at all into these types of games.

Short Attention Span Summary

diehardjack1-150x150Energy Cycle is a simple puzzler about matching colors and planning ahead. It’s the kind of game that larger games use as a one off mini-game or a special puzzle. If you’re a fan of the style, this game will offer you more bang for your buck. The time attack and level editor modes are a nice touch that make the package worthwhile. It’s certainly worth taking a look at. There are far worse things to spend a dollar on.

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