Remember that TV show, Lost? Yeah, remember when that used to be popular? Well what if, in the first few series when that mysterious black-cloud monster was around, any time it showed up, it started spouting off numbers to its victims? I know what you're thinking, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42, but let's also assume the black cloud doesn't know numbers higher than 20.
Mysterious time-traveling plotlines aside, this could be the basis for Atomic Cicada's new number puzzler, Scakler. Each level is made up of a black "cloud" of numbers. Your goal is to make all of the numbers the same, but in a Rubik's Cube-ish fashion. If there are two adjacent numbers that are equal, you can mouse over them to make some red arrows appear. Click and drag (up/down or left/right) one of these numbers to increase or decrease its value. However, doing so also adjusts the numbers on either side of the one you've selected, even if it wasn't an equal value to begin with. (If a number has both a horizontal pair and a vertical pair, two pairs of arrows will pop up, but you can only alter one direction at a time.)
To make it trickier, you're limited to dragging numbers out to positive or negative 20, meaning you've got to keep things neatly in order. Also, you have a limited number of moves to solve each level. You get unlimited "undo" and "restart" powers, but that may not help you much here. As a last word of advice, keep in mind that while zero is a very simple target number, it might not be the best to aim for on every level.
Analysis: Fear not, math-haters. The good news is that even though you're dealing with numbers, you don't need to perform any complex mathematical equations to play. Each step leads to another, so think logically, and plan your moves ahead of time. Also, fear not, math-lovers, the good news is that if you can actually pre-calculate a method for solving any given puzzle, I will personally quintuple your score for being awesome.
One strong irritation about this game is how you're limited to a certain number of moves to complete the levels. In a game where it takes a bit of experimentation to get the hang of some more complex strategies, one really shouldn't be punished for going off the beaten path. Perhaps if there were a "par" number of moves, and your bonus points were given in proportion to that, then things might feel a little more fair. But this game wants to stress planning ahead rather than trial-and-error, so be prepared for a little frustration in that sense.
If you're looking to file this game's presentation style under a particular motif, you'll likely settle on "horror film waiting to happen" or "excessively subdued and calming". The background music is low and etherial, but you may wonder why some disembodied voice is whispering every menu command back to you. Whether the game is trying to imply an ominous black cloud puzzle OF DOOM! or just a strange twisting of "relax" spelled backwards (well... "relkacs" is kinda close to "relacks") is completely up to you. I recommend giving in, and letting the black cloud whisk you away...