I haven’t really spoken about puzzle games recently, and that’s because they’re not typically my favourite type of game. I usually get frustrated with them easily, and honestly, quite often I find them boring.
That’s why Nexionode (by Big Round Eyes) is such a breath of fresh air, at least for me. It takes an approach to a puzzle game that I haven’t seen before, and presents them in a clean and non-confusing way. And that’s usually my biggest problem with a puzzle game. You don’t know your goal. Nexionode shows you exactly what you need to do off the bat, you just need to figure out the steps to get there.
The game is based around a ship that has fallen into disrepair, and the circuits inside it. Your goal as the ships on-board repair system is to fix these circuits. This is done through connecting power nodes to one another. These nodes have different “cores” on them, depicted by a bright orange light. By dragging a beam of power through these nodes, you turn them on, which turns the orange light blue. Your task in each level is to do this each light. The trickiness of the puzzles comes in where you can only activate each light once, making you have to think about where the beam is going to go.
An example of the puzzles
And that’s it really for game mechanics. Connect the dots. It gets harder as you go on, needing more lights to be activated, and with different arrangements of nodes, but that’s truly all there is to the game. It’s really simple and sweet, and incredibly challenging to get your head around.
The fact that all of the time limits in the game, save the challenge levels, are completely optional also helps to hammer home the point that this is supposed to be a relaxing puzzle game, where you have time to think and explore all of your options, and not hurt your performance.
An example of the level select screen
The calm soundtrack adds to this idea of zen, and makes it easy to calm down when faced with a difficult puzzle, of which there are many. However, the game isn’t 100% about this zen mode, as each segment also has a timer, which can be beaten for an extra challenge.
If you’re into pattern based puzzle games, and are looking for something new to play, I highly recommend Nexionode. It captures the feel of a good puzzle game perfectly, and is a great addition to the puzzle players library.
Nexionode can be picked up through the Humble Widget here, for the great price of $6.99. It can also be found for iOS on the App Store for $2.99