In ‘No Pay 2 Play’, we review free video games (whether they’re riddled with microtransactions and season passes or not) and then answer the golden question: is it worth adding to your game library?
Is Is Really Free?
What’s It All About?
If you’re after a tricky puzzle game with a thick dollop of philosophy on the side, then The Talos Principle is an easy recommendation. In it, you need to complete complex puzzles involving forcefield-jammers and light-reflectors in order to acquire sigils (think of Tetris pieces), which will allow you to progress further when placed in panels correctly. Croteam decided promote the title with a free tie-in mini-game filled with 96 of these sigil puzzles.
In each stage, you’re given a checkered grid and some sigils. You need to fill it in its entirety, like a jigsaw. Your time is recorded, though you can replay them in order to beat it. There’s no reward for perfectionism, aside from personal satisfaction, but it’s a nice touch. What would’ve been nice is if there was a mode that counted down – e.g. if you beat the puzzle in one minute, then you’ll only be given a minute to beat it again – but what’s on offer is satisfying nonetheless. Ambient and relaxing music plays as you twiddle away, which is nice.
There are four stages of difficulty. Blue puzzles are small and basic, while green puzzles are a little trickier. Yellow and red puzzles are some proper ball-busters, and are not recommended for the impatient or easily frustrated. Sure, there are no additional twists to the gameplay at hand, but it’s a bit like a book of crosswords: you get lots of the same thing.
Completing puzzles earn you codes for rewards to be used in The Talos Principle on the PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, Linux and Android. Completing the easier ones will give you things like pre-set messages to write on walls for other players to read, which aren’t too exciting or useful. Although, overcoming the tougher challenges will offer hints for completing puzzles and stars to enter secret or locked areas. If you think using the goodies earned from Sigils of Elohim, rather than the base game, is an unfair advantage, then you don’t have to use said codes.
Sigils of Elohim is a nice distraction from time to time. Not only can it be played on its own, regardless whether you have The Talos Principle or not, but it also helps prepare you for similar puzzles that you’ll come across in it. The rewards that you can use in the main game are a nice enticement, too. Even if it’s likely intended on being a relaxing but devilish mini-game, perhaps an selectable game mode that counts down your best score to zero would’ve added a tense twist to things, and where was the harm in adding a few achievements? As it stands, though, it’s a fun freebie to keep you occupied for a handful of minutes at a time, thus making it an easy recommendation.