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.Projekt review - A smart spatial puzzler that casts a long shadow


For: iPad   Also on: iPhone
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Fresh perspective

Product: .Projekt | Format: iPad | Genre: Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Those who are wary of .Projekt's quirky name and sombre visual style needn't worry. It's nowhere near as pretentious as it seems.

In fact, it's one of the most interesting and inviting mobile puzzlers of 2018 so far.

Throwing shapes

Each level of .Projekt tasks you with building a simple abstract 3D sculpture block by block. This central sculpture must cast a specific shadow onto four surrounding walls.

The key twist here is, that the 2D shadow-shape is often different for each wall.



This effectively means that you need to translate 3D into 2D, giving your sculpture a sense of depth that plays out in different ways depending on where you're viewing it from.

What's more, after the opening stretch of levels you are given a limited number of blocks to use, which prevents you from being too literal with your 3D-to-2D interpretations.

Minimal, maximal

If that all sounds like too much hard work, let me set your mind at rest. I have a severe aversion to hardcore puzzlers that require serious mental gymnastics to play, and .Projekt is not that game.

In fact, the way it welcomes you into its monochrome world is extremely considerate. The puzzles gradually ramp up in complexity, with the odd simple palate-cleanser thrown in from time to time.



What's more, there's a generous margin for error in its minimum and maximum block stipulations, there's no timer, and you can add and remove blocks at your leisure until you hit upon a solution.

It really is just a pleasure slipping into its shadow-casting world.

Projekting my displeasure

.Projekt is a fine puzzler, but there's one thing that keeps it from achieving outright greatness.

The key issue here is one of control. It can get very fiddly inserting individual blocks in these compact 3D levels, particularly when you've spreading your sculpture out in all directions and need to make individual adjustments.



I lost count of the number of times I tapped to add a block and it went in the wrong area. It's also impossible to place blocks directly underneath other blocks when they're hanging above the ground.

On the odd occasion, the limitations to the camera's movement to just four isometric positions can make it really hard to access the space in the centre.

Angling for greatness

In the case of each control shortfall, the lack of a movement and time penalty helps. You learn to work around the system's limitations by building up or across from elsewhere, then deleting the un-needed blocks behind you.

.Projekt's control and perspective quirks may blemish the experience, but at no point did the resulting annoyance stop me from wanting to see what was next. The expertly judged learning curve - not to mention a beautifully clean and classy visual style - saw to that.

This is a truly fresh, clever spatial puzzler that makes you feel smart for playing it.
 
.Projekt review - A smart spatial puzzler that casts a long shadow
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 16 March 2018
.Projekt is a brilliantly original, ingeniously designed spatial puzzler with only a few niggling control issues keeping it from true greatness
 
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