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Review: Enigmo

Posted by on July 25th, 2011 | 0 Comments | Tags:

“Enigmo is an award winning 3D puzzle game where the goal is to use the various puzzle pieces to direct water droplets into their containers.” That’s what’s written in the credits screen of Enigmo. It’s true, the game has won awards, and it is in fact a puzzle game where you manipulate streams of liquid. There’s not much 3D going on, except for the fact that some of the objects have depth, but the game includes 50 different levels that will start getting difficult at around level 9. So it will take you a while to get through Enigmo. Will you want to, though? Possibly.

There are no on-screen prompts to guide you on what to do in the game, so unless you have previously seen Enigmo in action, it’s possible that you may get a bit lost. The Help section, though, does have explanations about everything in the game from the overall objective (get droplets into their respective containers) to in-depth descriptions of how the different puzzle pieces affect droplets in different ways. It’s not a game that can’t be figured out with a small bit of poking around, so the lack of tutorial assistance isn’t a problem. Basically, you’re creating Rube Goldberg contraptions to get droplets from their spout to their container. The first puzzle only contains water, but in no time you’ll discover that there are three different types of droplets: water, oil, and lava. Naturally, the blue droplets (water) cannot be guided to a green (oil) container. Some spouts need to be turned on before they can start spitting liquids, adding to the complexity of puzzles.

The inventory of puzzle pieces you may use to guide the drops are shown on the left side of the screen. I was going to dissect the control scheme, but that would be both boring and tedious. Take my word for it when I write that the controls are smart. I’m sure the game plays a bit easier on a device with a touch screen, but with a little bit of fiddling it’s quite easy to do what you want. Placing, manipulating, and moving items doesn’t take too long to get used to. There are a couple of control features that I think are particularly useful: One is the ability to finely rotate objects, and the other is the ability to zoom out to view the puzzle as a whole. There are a couple of things that bother me a lot about the game, though, most notably its sound design.

Ever have a faucet leaking in another room? It’s annoying, right? Well, imagine if it were dripping 4-6 drops a second at a constant rate. The main objective of Enigmo revolves around spouts dripping, and the result is a major auditory annoyance. Other sound effects in the game are annoying, too. Take for example the hoops you have to drop water through in order to open gates. The game makes annoying buzzing sounds when you attempt to clear the gates without first opening. It’s an auditory feedback that clues you in on the fact that you’re doing something wrong, but it’s so annoying that it overachieves its purpose.

Enigmo is a game that is reminiscent of The Incredible Machine. It’s a physics based puzzler that relies on your ability to make elaborate Rube Goldberg machines from the limited tools given to you. It works, the controls are solid, and the puzzles are tough, but I best enjoyed Enigmo in short bursts. After playing a few consecutive levels with headphones on, I would take a break in order to rest my ears and stop racking my brain for a few minutes. With 50 puzzles that start getting tough at around the 10th, Enigmo has a lot of content for a minis title. If you like puzzle games or are just totally into energy transfers, give it a shot.

A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Portable version of the game.

General Info

  • Dripping water and other sound effects