To solve a puzzle, you need parameters. Logic puzzles require clues, cryptic puzzles must force you to think outside of the box. Visual puzzles, particularly when presented on a two-dimensional screen, need to set ground rules.
In some puzzles in Perfect Angle, you’ll be asked to look at reflections. In others, finding an image in a maze of jumbled lines of black on red will allow you to move onwards.
Regardless of presentation, this game requires you to find an image or a model in a seemingly random explosion of fragments or assorted objects. Everything starts simply - change your view to align some items, revealing the hidden object you're looking for.
Angling for it
It’s a simple premise, but one that changes often - sometimes with little or no fanfare. New mechanics are introduced with an on-screen prompt, then it's up to you to figure out what you need to do to move forward.
Some of the puzzles are about controlling the environment, for example. You need to flood an area with water, which changes not only the perspective, but can move fragments to a different plane.
In a later stage you’re tasked with finding the image using only the shadow cast onto a wall. Here you're controlling the jumbled object, rather than the camera view.
Changing the mode of solving a puzzle will keep you on your toes, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a simple case of finding a needle in a haystack. And if that’s your bag, then you’ll be happy here.
Happiness aside, the game only lasts so long and there's no real replayability. You get a tenuous story linking all of the puzzles together - it reveals itself through pictures and pieces of writing - but there are no branching paths to open up future playthroughs.
It feels as if the developer is missing a trick here, because the story is actually intriguing. It could easily have lead to more engagement if it had been handled in a different way
Each area that houses a puzzle is interesting and has links to the plot, but as attractive as these spaces are, the focus is firmly on the challenge. Science labs, suburban rooftops, and gallery-like spaces offer some atmosphere, but in the end they're little more than window-dressing.
The variation in puzzles can be interesting, alternating between two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects, and even utilising empty space. In some levels you're firing missiles, chipping away at blocks in order to reveal something behind. It's a slightly odd choice, but it actually works.
Stuck with it
If you do get stuck, there's a hint system. You start off with five hints at your disposal. At first these show you the shape that you're looking for. Using another hint on the same puzzle gives you a scale to show how close you are to getting the solution.
Once they're used up, they only unlock after two minutes of wracking your brain. Unfortunately though you might find yourself using up these hints thanks to some poor visual choices.
There are levels here that feel as though they're immersed in a light blue fluid . It makes the objects in game rather hard to see and colourblind players will struggle from the off. The red and black levels of squiggled lines are generally more of a painful mess than an interesting idea.
With a little more structure, and a few better design choices, this could have been a great title. Instead, it’s the sort of experience that's easily going to be forgotten once you get to the end of your time with it.