Flash games can be filled with so much action. Running, shooting, maiming, killing, jumping, smashing, destroying... occasionally it's nice to get away from all that activity and play something that simply stimulates your brain cells rather than your adrenal glands. Something calm, soothing, almost Zen-like. Well that something may be Atomic Puzzle, a quiet yet unique and tricky little puzzle game by Sigma Studio.
You begin with a basic shape that looks like a molecular model, colored balls (or atoms) attached by gossamer lines. The object is to remove all the balls from the screen by "crashing" them into each other. You can click on an atom that is attached to two or more of the same color to collide them together, thus removing them all and without the nuclear blast and resultant devastation that would accompany this feat in real life. Continue to combine the colors until there is nothing left on the screen.
It sounds simple in theory, and it begins that way. At first all you have to do is figure out which combinations to remove in what order to empty the screen. Then it gets a little tricky, as extra "trick" atoms start appearing in your neat little molecules. Balls that can paint any ball that it is attached to, balls that move around the colors, balls that rearrange the bonds, and even a little scissor ball that can detach connections. Eventually you will be facing long, complex molecular chains that incorporate several different colors as well as the "trick" balls and that's where it gets very interesting... and perhaps not quite so calming.
Analysis: Atomic Puzzle is one of those deceptively easy puzzle games that are designed to suck you right in and not let go until you've solved the last one. Fortunately, there are 50 levels to get through, so that might take a while. Gameplay is unique, difficult in parts, and yet curiously soothing.
The game is beautifully presented, with the luminescent molecular models floating on blueprint-like background, a feast for the eyes as you contemplate your next move. Calm, quiet music only adds to the meditative qualities of the gameplay, keeping everything Zen even as you struggle with the tougher upper levels.
If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, you might try somewhere else. If you're looking for a tricky, logical puzzle game to while a few minutes away with, then definitely check out Atomic Puzzle. Between the gorgeous graphics, the easy-going music, and the pure logic of the puzzles themselves, you might find you've put yourself into a trance state. Finish and you will emerge triumphant and curiously calmed, like meditation accomplished with casual gameplay.