There's something inherently soothing about sliding puzzles. No wait, hear me out. You're just thinking they're frustrating because so frequently they're the obstacle in your escape or hidden object game, the puzzle that rears its ugly mug when you just want to open up the safe or fix the breaker system. But if you distill it down to its essence and give it a relaxing ambiance, there's something pure and satisfying about sliding some blocks around, and that's just what D. Slide from Ateta Games delivers.
The game's control system is simple. Just use the mouse to click and drag around the blocks and the celtic-knot like slider token from its original position to the gold-marked target block. Early levels are straightforward token juggling, but later levels introduce locks which must be unlocked by sliding the token into the correctly colored block. Sometimes the locks are even on timers.
Whether you enjoy D.Slide will probably depend a lot on how you approach it, particularly since the overall level of difficulty isn't as high as some other titles in the puzzle genre, and the aesthetic is fairly distinct. The level beginning and ending animations can't be skipped, because the almost steampunk-esque animation and dull metal-on-metal scraping sound is meant to soothe, and if the game wants you to be soothed, you're going to be soothed, dang it. In fact, the game's stubborn insistence on being played on its own terms is probably its biggest flaw; not only does the game in this way refuse to accommodate impatient players by allowing skips of animation, but the developers also chose to leave out a save function, which, unfortunately, means that if you don't complete all the levels in one sitting, you'll find your progress has vanished when you pick it back up again.
Despite this, D.Slide is still worth checking out. It's visual style is different and distinctive, and the simple to grasp gameplay is packaged with a few twists that not only make it easy for anyone to pick up and play, but help it stand out from the plethora of other sliding-block style puzzles. For the most part you can expect its 24 levels to go by fairly quickly; there isn't a lot to master here, and the time limit won't pose much of a threat in most cases. Still, there's something to be said about a game you can just sink into for a while and let the rest of the day melt away without worrying about frying too many brain circuits figuring out what goes where and in how many moves but how is that possible because this one only moves here and OH NOES! See, now you're all worked up, when you could have just been immersing yourself in D.Slide instead.