There's a lot to be said for a simple, polished puzzler that does everything with competence and restraint.
That's Soap Dodgem in nutshell. It might not set your heart racing, and there's a chance you'll forget all about it within few weeks.
But in the meantime, it provides 100 levels of friction-free pleasantness. And that's something that not every mobile game can claim these days.Breaking the mould
This is a simple block-sliding puzzler with a squeaky clean theme. Like, literally.
You play the part of various blocks of soap, which must be slid along a series of tiled floors towards the drain-exit. Along the way, you must try and sweep up several gruesome mould creatures.
We've all played games like this before, and there are few surprises. You swipe on the screen to slide in the four cardinal directions. If you hit an object - which you must with each move, lest you slide off the screen - then you stop and get to go again.Shiny
Naturally, Soap Dodgem spices this familiar template up with its own embellishments. There are toilet rolls that shuffle back a space when you hit them, arrows that alter your course, brushes that move and fragile tiles that crack under pressure.
Soon, you'll encounter different types of soap that can move on blocks of their own colour. You'll even need to direct more than one piece of soap at a time.
Underpinning all this is the constant search for the golden bubble hidden in each level. This can either be obvious or fiendishly difficult to find, but it encourages you to experiment even when the solution is apparent.Design your own bathroom
Perhaps the boldest inclusion here, and a sign of what a solid, thoughtfully made game this is, is the inclusion of a level editor.
Full confession: I'm no fan of level editors. I take the lazy attitude that it's up to the game designer to do the work and for me to enjoy it. But I'm well aware that a sizeable portion of people love to craft their own fun (hello Minecraft).
The suite of creative tools at your disposal in Soap Dodgem is impressively intuitive, and it's dead easy to get up and running with your own puzzles. You can then upload and instantly play the efforts of other players, which adds to the replayability factor.
It's another element that typifies Soap Dodgem - a quite unremarkable puzzler that's been crafted with remarkable care.