After 15 or so rounds of ELOH, I realised I was playing it the wrong way. I was playing it like it was your average puzzler.
And ELOH is anything but your average puzzler.
ELOH ELOH ELOHThe idea here is to drag a bunch of blocks into slots in order to deflect a series of pips into a waiting receptacle.
Which is the kind of drab, perfunctory-sounding premise that does ELOH absolutely no favours. Where it truly shines is in the detail of its moment-to-moment action, both visual and aural.
Each block resembles a tribal totem of sorts. The source of those pips is a speaker, which fires out little coloured blips of sound at an angle.
As they strike the totems, these sound pips produce a distinctive 'plok' sound (along with a delightful facial reaction). With multiple rebounds, a simple percussive loop is created.
I lost count of the number of times I hesitated to progress to the next level due to the hypnotic rhythm that I'd created.
Finely tunedWhere I initially went wrong with ELOH wasn't through any confusion on the game's part. Rather, I instinctively held back from touching the speakers to start the sound pips from firing until everything was just so. More than a decade of playing smartphone puzzlers has taught me to carefully align the pieces before I commence, with a flawless run the ultimate (and wearisome) goal.
A clue that that this wasn't the case with ELOH came with the puzzling lack of a restart button, as well as the absence of anything resembling a scoring system.
The way to really play ELOH is to get the speakers started from the off, and then to experiment with the block placement. The pitter-pattering soundtrack changes with your adjustments, creating a gloriously calming, gently shifting audible reward loop.
Hard to beatThere aren't many discordant notes here. Some might find its 85 levels a little short, given how swiftly you can progress through the opening stretch.
I suppose the sheer simplicity of ELOH might not be for everyone either. If you're not beguiled by the premise or thoroughly charmed by each little percussive symphony, what's left is a fairly sparse puzzler.
If that's you, I might suggest that you go to your doctor and double check that you have a working heart. But each to their own, I guess.
ELOH doesn't care about star ratings or flawless runs. It wants you to tinker with each level, to get a feel for the angles you can create with its steadily expanding list of components, and to enjoy the percussive sound each contact makes.
Basically, ELOH just wants you to play with it.