Sugar, Sugar 3
When you want something that's stylish and smart, Bart Bonte is always someone to have on speed dial no matter what game you're in the mood for, and his Sugar Sugar physics puzzle games are literally as sweet as you can get. So aren't you glad Sugar, Sugar 3 is finally here? The goal, as before, is still simply to fill up each container in a level with the sugar falling onscreen by drawing paths to get it where you want it to go. Since you can't erase any lines you've drawn, with restarting the level your only option, you need to plan ahead and figure out how to make the level work for you. Here, for example, in many levels where sugar falls off the bottom of the screen, it reappears falling out of the top, allowing you to reach different places. Toss (or sprinkle) in elements like coloured "gates" that dye any sugar that passes through so you can fill matching cups, buttons that change gravity, teleporters, and more, and suddenly making the perfectly sweet cuppa is a lot more challenging than it seems.
If there's any gaming experience quite so enjoyably mellowing as playing a Bart Bonte game, I haven't found it. Sugar, Sugar 3 is as lovely as you'd expect, all clean lines and melding physical objects with coloured silhouettes and set to a funky beat. Combined with its sedate pace, the game's style encourages you to kick back and slow down a little, which makes thinking each level's structure through pretty enjoyable. The series' simple gimmick of filling up cups by directing the flow of sugar has gotten a lot of mileage now, and it's pretty impressive that it still doesn't feel stale. Part of this is the way different elements are introduced, though some here are more welcome than others... the "exclusive" cups, which instantly fail the level if they get so much as a granule of the wrong colour of the sweet stuff in them, add a bit of unnecessary stress to an otherwise chill game. Still, Sugar, Sugar 3 is every bit as fun and unexpectedly tricky as its predecessors, making it the perfect treat to prop up your feet and while away the time with.