I’ve been enjoying a few puzzle games lately. Games like The Sexy Brutale and Vox Voyager have certainly proven to be a challenge. They did, however, leave me a little bit unsatisfied at times. Neither really felt like finished articles, or had some moderate gameplay issues that left me disappointed. Perhaps disappointment is a strong word to use. My grandfather always used to tell me to say things left me unfulfilled rather than say I’m bored, which is exactly how I’d describe the aforementioned games. Fortunately, this hasn’t dampened my desire to have a few good brain ticklers, which leads me on to Grab The Bottle.
The one thing you want from a puzzle game, is for it to be sufficiently challenging, and Grab the Bottle hits the mark on that pretty well. None of the levels in it feel particularly simple, and there is a very smooth difficulty curve. You’ll always have everything explained to you prior to tackling something you’ve yet to come across. This may sound like it is making it a little simple, but it definitely isn’t. Just because you are aware of the mechanics, doesn’t make solving the puzzles a simple task. There are a lot of things at play, even from the very beginning of the game, that mean you have to plan your moves very carefully. It’s a game where if you try to do it on the fly, it’s likely you’ll fail, which is always the sign of a great puzzler.
I mention artwork quite a lot in my reviews. I’m not particularly proud of it, but I am fairly shallow. If a game looks nice, then I’ll probably be on board with it. I understand that it can be a challenge to make games look decent, but it really isn’t hard to impress me. Saying that, Grab the Bottle is a fantastic looking game. The background in each level looks terrific, and the objects you have to interact with are clearly defined, making it a joy to play. The one thing that could be improved perhaps would be the look of the arms as they move across the level, but it’s understandable that they are all a block colour. It does help them stand out against the background so you can easily see where you can’t go, so it’s an understandable design decision.
Evident it’s a first release
I’m sure Grab the Bottle isn’t Kamina Dimension’s first attempt at a game – but it does feel like a first full release. There are a couple of small things that sadly detract from what is otherwise a pretty solid game. The main issue I found was the amount of loading screens. And by screens, I do mean, just the one screen. I’m not sure why, but the game logo is shown in between every puzzle and cut scene. It never persisted for long, but the frequent hitting me over the head with the logo was certainly overkill. Other than that, I did tire of the background music quite quickly. It’s fairly repetitive, so one may find it a little monotonous while snaking the arm around to the goal.
The Final Word
Grab the Bottle is pretty ingenious – it takes the proven formula of Snake and adds a few extra bits to it. The main challenge is still present, but there are a few extra little things to consider as you worm your way across the screen to the goal. It’s a nice, refreshing puzzle that really does add a nice twist onto the genre. There are some minor teething issues with the game, but I think it’s forgivable as it’s the developer’s first real go at a game. If you’re interested in great artwork mixed with some terrific puzzle mechanics, this is probably the game for you.