Before you may read this article, you must answer me these riddles three!... or, uh, since I don't actually know any riddles, maybe you should try solving these puzzle games instead? Alright, so I would have made a rotten Dungeon Master (nobody ever wants to go through the Forest of Perpetual Personal Itchiness, darnit.) but I can still recognise a good puzzle when I see one, and this week's Vault serves up three of them, gradually shifting from serious to surreal.
- Reflections - Here's a simple concept, and one that's been lovingly implemented in the lion's share of JRPGs since the beginning of time (Tales, I'm looking at you). All you need to do is arrange a series of mirrors to bounce your beam of light around obstacles, eventually illuminating all the bulbs onscreen. Input Entertainment classes this familiar puzzle up a bit with different mirrors and bombs, and serves it all up with a nice clean implementation that makes this one both easy to get into and wonderfully engaging to keep you hooked as the challenge mounts. Reflections is a great example of how you don't necessarily need a whole lot of innovation to serve up something solid and entertaining.
- Magnet 2 - Who says you've gotta be serious to be taken seriously? This quirky puzzle turns you into a bunny with a magnet for a head and forces you to use your head (and in this case, your literal animal magnetism) to shuffle objects to where they're supposed to go. The oddball presentation and the continual introduction of new elements to keep you interested combine to set this one apart from the others in the crowded genre. It's a level of silliness and creativity that I wish we saw more of, especially when the actual puzzling is as engaging and clever as this.
- Fields of Logic - Bart Bonte proves he's not just about escapery with this series of logic puzzles. You aren't given any instructions as to what to do with the field of organic grown computers you find yourself presented with, and are left to click around to figure things out on your own as you click around. What's great about this one, aside from the touch of pleasantly silly atmosphere, is that each level feels like a step in a series, and the difficulty curve is solid... if not necessarily the most challenging one around. It's the perfect example of how putting everything in the hands of the player works brilliantly if you design your puzzles with care and cleverness.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!