Gear puzzles are popular fodder for games these days. If gears aren't the main feature, as in David Durham's Gear Puzzle, then they're a vital component of a switch box or piece of alien machinery in an adventure game. At first glance, Connect It seems like more of the same, but after exploring deeper, this seemingly simple gear puzzler reveals an entertaining and complex depth.
The gameplay starts simply enough. You begin the game with a bunch of gears of varying sizes, gear pegs and power sources, and an electrode on a track, waiting to be connected to the wire on the other end. The goal is simple: transfer the rotational power from the power source to the electrode, so it moves across the track and completes the circuit. You move the gears by dragging them with the mouse and turn them on and off by clicking. At first, it's as easy as it sounds, but like all fun games, Connect It doesn't stay easy.
It won't be long before you'll be staring blankly at the screen, trying to figure out which of the pegs to use. The pegs aren't spaced evenly, so it often takes some trial and error to figure out the best way to connect the electrode without accidentally putting the wrong number of gears in the sequence and pushing it the wrong way. Fortunately, the 'level reset' button is big and easy to click, and there are multiple solutions to most levels.
Also, this game is extremely pretty. The atmosphere is late Victorian steampunk. The pegs are brass, the gears are polished steel, and the whole thing gives off the impression that you're building a fine Swiss watch - a sequence of gears that not only works, but works beautifully. The music is calm but catchy, the perfect background for killing a few hours.
Overall, Connect It will suck you in with its beautiful presentation, but you'll stay there for a long time, solving just one more puzzle.