LifeisXbox’s Puzzletronics Review | Puzzletronics is a new indie game that looks to focus on puzzles based on electronics and circuitry. The main feature here is solving a series of component-based puzzles in which you must light the LED to complete the puzzle and move onto the next stage. Developed and published by Alexandre Vasconcelos, it’s a simple game that is executed well, but is it worth your time?
ℹ️ | We played Puzzletronics for 1.5 hours on Nintendo Switch. This game is also available on PC/Steam.
What we liked!
- A simple concept | As far as concepts go for puzzle games, this one is pretty good. I like the theme and the style and the simple graphics also make the whole package feel somewhat quaint and fun. I haven’t seen a puzzle game done this way before and in that respect it makes the whole game feel fresh and new. The gameplay is simple enough and finds its home among the puzzle genre. As a person who is attracted to visual things, I was immediately drawn to its art style and take on the puzzle concept. All in all, pretty good!
- Makes you think | The initial setup of the game has you thinking a fair amount. If you are new to electronics or anything of that nature this sort of puzzle game may be slightly harder than the generic puzzle games you see on the market. A very basic understanding of electronics is needed to complete each stage. For example, positive to positive, negative to negative and the battery will be fixed in place so that it adds a small amount of complexity to each round. Sometimes (rarely) it will cement another piece of the puzzle to the board just to change things up from time to time.
- Lots of stages | Puzzletronics has 70 levels to complete all in all. It’s a fair amount for sure and some people will like the amount it has to offer here and if you are looking at value for money then you would be correct. It’s a fair amount of levels especially if you are a light player of video games and enjoy puzzles. There are a fair amount of puzzles to hold you over for around 15-20 minutes of short burst playtime.
- Very Short | The game itself is very short and all puzzles can be completed within 90 minutes or less depending on how quick you are to think on your feet. Once the game is complete there are no unlocks or any extra game modes. You can however access the level select feature and go back and try the puzzles again if there were any particular puzzles that you took a liking to. Apart from that, no additional difficulty modes or anything else.
- The Music | As far as puzzle games go the soundtracks are usually ok albeit the same. A calm and relaxing mix of harps, pianos and acoustic guitars accompany the game to see you through each level. It’s not the greatest mix in the world but it serves its purpose and doesn’t offer any distractions and can easily be paused from the top left options screen if you don’t want to hear it.
What we disliked
- A missed opportunity | The whole time I was sitting and playing Puzzletronics, I kept thinking to myself that there is a missed opportunity here to teach people about electronics as you go. For most people who will play this game, the whole theme around transistors, resistors, LED’s and fuses would most likely go over their heads. For a simple puzzle game like this, I would have loved to have seen some education thrown in for good measure. As it stands statistically, most Switch owners are kids, and having this sort of game would have been great if there were some teachings around the topic as electronics moving forwards are going to be a strong base for future careers. It might not be for everyone, but I feel the developer (looking at his other games) has a soft spot for electronics so I think it would be possible.
- Not enough variety | I know mentioned above I stated about the 70 levels that are featured in the game, but some are just so similar and offer almost no variety. In the world of electronics, there are hundreds of components here that could have been utilized in a puzzle game that would have been right at home here. Instead, we are limited to the basics, LED’s, transistors, resistors, and fuses to name a few. The game rarely breaks out of its comfort zone in regards to the size of puzzles and the shape of puzzles that each level I was able to complete in a matter of seconds. Even if you had no idea about circuitry, it would only be a matter of moments before you found the LED’s lighting up as simply moving random pieces around like a jigsaw would have been enough to trigger the completion of the stage.
- Repetitive | As above it ties into variety but essentially there are around 10 variations that are pretty much on repeat again and again with the odd component variant added for good measure. With this, it adds a faux feeling of variation being passed off as a new challenge. At first, you might not notice but it does become apparent pretty quickly.
- The Controls | My biggest frustration with this game (and it’s pretty big), was not being able to rotate pieces around. Had this been a feature then the puzzles would have been at least 10 times harder and allowed for more varied gameplay. You could have adjusted the size and shape of the stage, created different segments to connect the components to. The list goes on. Instead, because of the lack of this function, it limits the player to the repetitive nature of the puzzles. The rest of the controls are fine, you simply select the piece you want to pick up with A and place it onto the selected tile with A again. you can also access the options from the top left of the screen where you can skip to the previous or next level and mute sound also.
How long to beat the story | 1.5 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | No achievements on Nintendo Switch
Similar with | Alexandre Vasconcelos other titles such as Puzzletronics Digital Infinite and Rayland. A simple set of puzzles based on the world of circuitry very much in the same vein.
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I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.