Published on March 14th, 2013 | by Craig Forshey49
Indie Spotlight: Purity
Puzzle games and touch screens go together like peanut butter and jelly. The casual, pick up and play style of puzzlers married with a simple point and tap control scheme has inspired a renaissance of sorts for the puzzle genre. Some amazing titles have been created that are only possible thanks to touch screen devices. Unfortunately, for every title with the quality of games like Where’s My Water?, there are a hundred shoddily made Tetris clones. Good puzzle games can be hard to find on Google Play unless they come from a high profile developer with an already established market presence, making it difficult for independently developed games to get the recognition they deserve. Which brings us to the subject of today’s Indie Spotlight. Indie developer Carbide Software has released a unique new puzzler, Purity, which is their studio’s debut game for the Android platform. Although Purity is a brand new game for Android, it has also had a successful run on Windows Phone devices for some time now as one of the highest rated puzzle games on the Windows Phone App Store. It’s a game that will make you stop and think. Hard. Taking the wrong path in Purity will oftentimes doom your chances of getting a decent score, if it doesn’t cause you to fail the level altogether.
The concept behind Purity is maddeningly simple. Players will navigate a stage comprised of energy blocks that disappear when stepped on. In order to complete each stage, each block has to be touched. This leads to all sorts of hair pulling situations that more often than not will leave you trapped on a single block you can’t leave due to your own shortsightedness. Block arrangements and types get more varied as the levels progress. Teleportation blocks will force you to think on your feet, shielded blocks must be traveled several times, and connection tubes will force you in different directions. The game uses a simple control scheme; Swiping up, left, right, and down will move your character around the level, while touching two fingers to the screen will activate Purity’s innovative rewind ability. Like in Ubisoft’s Prince Of Persia games from the last generation of consoles, rather than forcing you to restart the entire level when you make a mistake, Purity will let you rewind the action and go back to when you made that fatal error. This is a neat mechanic and was a unique way for developer Carbide Software to eliminate a common source of frustration in puzzle games. There are multiple ways to complete most of the game’s 60 levels, which once beaten will unlock free play mode for each level so players can try to beat their best time. If things get too rough, a solution button in the options menu will have the game play through the more difficult levels for you, showing you the quickest way to beat the stage.
Purity has simple but pleasing graphics with more animation than the typical indie puzzler. Blocks will fall down with retro special effects while lens flares sell the futuristic style. The trippy backgrounds the puzzle action takes place against goes well with the games atmospheric and at times eerie soundtrack. The haunting music is full of catchy electronic beats and a head bobbing rhythm.
Puzzle games are for thinking men/women, and the gameplay in Purity is well suited for them. The catch 22 of Carbide Software’s new title is that you’ll need to strategize what route to take, but the longer you take to decide where to go, the more points you’ll lose. At first we found ourselves just rushing through levels, trying to muscle our way through. However that tactic usually ended with our avatar stuck in a corner and having to abuse the rewind feature, which wreaked havoc on our high scores. Once players start to get a read for how the different blocks and modifiers operate, the game hits its stride. The later levels in Purity get extremely complex, and will require lots of patience.
Purity is a well done indie puzzler with a smartly designed gameplay mechanic. It can become frustrating due to its complexity which might not appeal to everyone. However, hardcore puzzle fans will be pleased to discover why Purity is one of the top games on Windows Phone.
You can pick up Purity for $.99 on both Google Play and the Amazon App Store. A free trial version is available called Purity Lite.
Developers Website – Carbide Software
Summary: Purity has an atmospheric art style, catchy soundtrack, and unique rewind ability though it is also rather difficult and would benefit from more game modes.