LifeisXbox’s Altered review | If you are into puzzle games, Altered might just be your next purchase! Altered is a meditative puzzle game mixing hard puzzles and a soothing atmosphere by developers Niels and Daniel Bross from Glitchheart. It’s a Sokoban-styled puzzler that will need all your attention, but here is the million dollar question: does it actually manage to keep you focused? Or is that the one puzzle this game has yet to solve?
We played Altered for 4 hours on PC. This game is only available on this platform.
What we liked!
- Interesting puzzles | Your goal in Altered is always the same: you’re on some sort of platform with tiles and you have to reach the tile with the little light symbol drawn on it. Usually, this tile is on the other side of the platform and getting there requires some logical thinking, as well as puzzle solving, of course. I love that these are not your usual puzzles, but are actually very clever. You can move tile by tile, push things around, and most of all: avoid falling off of this platform. I mean, nothing bad happens when you fall off, you just get back to your last move, but still. Moving yourself and items on the platform happens in a very interesting way: by using the powers of your character (more on that in the bullet point below).
- Different characters | There are a total of four ‘characters’. I’m not sure this is how you call them, but they each use their own kind of mechanics to move things, and yourself, around in the puzzle in order to get to the right tile on the board. For example, the first character can spread its arms, while another works like some sort of magnet. I honestly find it hard to explain these characters, but you can alter (ah, there comes the name of this game from) them and use their powers to solve the puzzles! Even though it’s not easy to explain, the gameplay itself is very straightforward and you’ll get the hang of all four characters really quickly. Compared to solving the puzzles, which will take a little more of your time. Anyway, thanks to the variation in characters, you’ll never get bored of the puzzle solving mechanisms!
- Amount of content | Altered offers over 80 brain-wrecking puzzles. This sounds like a lot, but you’ll get through some of them fairly quick. Others require a bit more brain activity. Personally, I’m a big puzzle game fan, but I’m not the best at actually solving puzzles. So it took me about ??? hours to finish the game. If you’re more experienced or just better at solving puzzles, you’ll probably get around 3 or 4 hours of fun in Altered.
- Artstyle | Even though I’m personally not the biggest fan of this kind of artstyle, objectively speaking it does fit the gameplay just perfectly. I did, however, very much enjoy the green landscape with bright red-leafed trees. The vibrant colors manage to give you a calm feeling rather than being ‘in your face’. The developers promise a soothing and relaxing experience, and I strongly believe that the artstyle and graphical themes contribute to this.
- Music | The soundtrack is very calming, and just as with the graphics, it just helps prove the point that the developers are trying to sell with Altered: it’s puzzling game, but it’s also very relaxing.
- No hints | Most people don’t like admitting they need help every now and then, but this time I’m not afraid to tell you I got stuck sometimes and did need some guidance (lucky for me, my boyfriend is very good at puzzle games). Unfortunately, Altered itself did not offer any help at all. If you’re stuck, well, then, just keep trying because there are no hints available. Ever. I love puzzle games but I think not offering a ‘hints’ button can possibly make people quit a game because it’s too difficult. I’m not fan of the unlimited hints either, but maybe after finishing a set number of levels, you get a hint. You know, that way they are rare and people will only use hints when they are réally desperate.
What we disliked
- Nothing | I could not find any bugs, or anything else that I disliked about Altered!
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂