Jul 29, 2015
Gameplay concepts really don’t get simpler than what we find in Unium.
To play the game is to understand it. The individual puzzles are laid out a bit irregularly, but do condense to one basic concept represented by similar types of layouts. The playing area consists of a bunch of squares, some black, and some white. They are all tightly packed, like the interior of a beehive, and there is a degree of symmetry in the way the black and white combine. Visually, it is very monochromatic, but not unpleasing.
Basically, the idea is to make all the squares one color, which is white; to change the black to white, one needs to draw a line through the black squares. The kicker is that all the black squares need to have the same, line go through them to solve the puzzle. In other words, one gesture-driven line needs to be drawn through every black square in one motion — while avoiding every white square. No diagonal movements through squares is allowed; one has to navigate through adjacent squares only. If successful, at the end of the puzzle, no black squares will remain.
So… how hard can it be, really? It’s a simple matter of drawing one, continuous line, right? Well, the increased complexity is derived from the developer’s creativity. As one progresses in the game, one actually needs to think through potential paths, so as to touch every square. The game comes in different levels, each with several levels, and success is needed to open subsequent levels and difficulty. As the game goes on, the puzzles get quite intricate, and it is relatively fun to try to rtrace one’s steps, or make alterations, or even simply restarting the entire puzzle. As one goes, the rules get bent a bit, but hey… why not?
It comes together well, and is a great time waster even while avoiding silly frills. Not bad for a 21st century game, really.