Island Maze is a strategy puzzle game from Drageus Games for the Nintendo Switch. It’s a light-hearted game with a decent amount of puzzles available, each one getting a tad more difficult than the last.
This game throws you right into the puzzles. From the main menu, you can choose to start playing, take a look at the controls, settings, or credits. There’s no story and no tutorial. However, even if you don’t look at the controls, it’s easy to figure out on your own as is the objective.
You play as a cube with diamond indents on all six sides. The goal is to make it to the portal that’s usually on the other side of the area. The areas are small, but there’s always something blocking the way. This is where the diamonds come in.
In order for your cube to get over certain obstacles, you’ll need to collect some things throughout the small levels. If there’s a pink gem on the floor, then that means you need to collect a pink gem to match it up. Once you have what you need, you need to go over that spot using the side of the cube that holds the pink gem. Being a cube, you flip on your sides to get from point A to point B. You can grab what you need and when you make it to the gate, the sides might not match up. If they don’t, your cube breaks and you need to restart the level.
There are no lives and no penalties if you die, which is nice. The only penalty you get is the rating for each level. These puzzles are all about movement and matching certain sides with the locked gates. To do this, you collect different colored diamonds or magnetic spheres so you can climb certain walls. Each time you roll over to one side, it counts as a step. You want to complete each level in as few steps as you can. A counter is at the bottom left screen that will show you how many steps you’ve taken and how many you need to complete the level with three diamonds, two diamonds, or one.
You need a certain amount of diamonds in order to unlock the next few levels. The game is pretty generous when it comes to unlocking the next set of levels. I actually skipped a handful of them because I kept getting stuck and was still able to unlock the next set by getting one or two diamonds on the other levels. So, there’s no rage-quitting. You should be able to collect enough to move on even when you get stuck for a while. There are only 28 levels and they’re all small, so if you’re really good at these kinds of puzzles, you may breeze right through the game anyway.
There isn’t too much to look at as you play the game. You are a cube on an island surrounded by the ocean, but it’s pretty nonetheless. The graphics are crisp and the sound effects are satisfying as well – especially when your cube breaks or falls into the water. (Yes, I accidentally discovered that you can, in fact, fall off the island.) The music itself is tranquil as you make your way through the various puzzles.
While Island Maze is a short game with less than 30 puzzles, the puzzles are good. They weren’t too easy but they weren’t hard enough to make me want to rage quit the game. This game is only $2.99, so if you enjoy puzzles and are looking for something short and sweet to play, then Island Maze may be a good option for you to give a try.