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Up Left Out review - Another quietly satisfying puzzler


For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad
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The maker of Klocki and HOOK does it again

Product: Up Left Out | Publisher: Rainbow Train | Format: iPhone | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Developer Maciej Targoni gets straight to the point with his games. Klocki, HOOK and PUSH were simply named, minimally styled puzzlers with barely an inch of fat on them.

In tribute to that admirably no nonsense philosophy, then, I'll come straight out and say it:

Up Left Out is another gem of a puzzler from Targoni. You should buy it.

Hooks aplenty

Targoni's games also tend to have a fair amount of substance beneath their simple exteriors, so I should probably elaborate.

Up Left Out takes the tile-sliding puzzle mechanic and adds a hook. I mean that quite literally.

Some of the square tiles you attempt to manipulate here have a peg pinning them in place. Fortunately, they also have some kind of track cut out from the centre to the edge, which lets you free them if you move them in a certain direction.



Your initial goal is simply to free all of the pegged tiles from their position. This initially involves shuffling them in a certain sequence.

Pretty soon you're pressing buttons to move gates or rotate the pieces. Then you encounter tiles that, once freed, need you to match up their lines. Then, more elaborate patterns.

No words needed

And so Up Left Out goes, steadily expanding upon and twisting an initially simple ruleset. Before you know it, you have a thoroughly absorbing, surprisingly varied puzzler on your hands.

The same deceptively sharp eye and steady hand has been applied to the visuals, too. It's all incredibly simple, but the simple shapes, solid animation, and tactile physicality all combine to inform you how each rule twist works without ever issuing a word of help text.

It's not the biggest puzzler on the App Store, nor is it going to redefine the entire genre for you. It doesn't work its way into your subconscious like the very best (Gorogoa, Monument Valley, Threes) either. But then, games like this don't really have to.

Up Left Out is an expertly made, deceptively sophisticated, sparsely attractive puzzler. Or, to put it more simply, it's another Maciej Targoni game.
 
Up Left Out review - Another quietly satisfying puzzler
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 29 June 2018
Up Left Out is another finely honed puzzler from a developer that really knows their craft
 
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