Project Alnilam. Alnilam. Al-nil-am. Say that five times fast. Thankfully, Smartcode's simple puzzle game (also available for iOS and Android) is easier to explain than it is to pronounce. It's a game of green things, red things, and gray things. It's a game of spheres, cubes, and cylinders. It's a game where you must get all of the green shapes in the level to the goal of the same color, avoid dangerous red things, and do so in a limited number of moves. Use the arrow keys or a swipe of the mouse to move all the pieces on the board in the direction you you choose. The real trickery comes from the fact that each shape of piece moves in a different way: Balls roll along in one direction until they hit something, cubes move one space at a time, and cylinders do both, depending on whether you're moving them end-over-end or on their sides. All of this seems like a pretty good setup for a Unity-based puzzler, right? Until you realize, much like a rebel staring down the Death Star for the first time, that's no Unity. That's Flash, and if you think the care and attention given to the graphics is impressive, just wait til you get to the rest of it, baby!
Project Alnilam's attention to detail doesn't stop with the shiny, shimmery, modern-art-deco-y graphics. (Although there is a small, harmless visual glitch if you change the graphics' quality on the title screen.) This is a devious, dangerous, mind-squeezer of a puzzle game guaranteed to leave you scratching your head at least once. Many of its solutions require out-of-the-box thinking, especially where that move limit is concerned. It's all too easy to find yourself in a position where you're just one move away from being able to get that ball and that cylinder into the goal at the same time, but you spent your last move getting them into place, and now you've got to figure out how to optimize your motions. Yet the clever simplicity the levels demand makes for real lightbulb moments once you figure them out. There's even a helpful undo button to help you try out different solutions!...Though you will have to restart if you use up ALL of your moves. The game is also quite well-balanced. There's only three distinct piece shapes, but three is all it needs. It provides several different motion styles for you to keep track of without being an overload. The concept's good, the levels are good, and the prettiness is darn good. Project Alnilam is pure puzzling deliciousness ready to test your spatial awareness and your ability to think ahead.