Plants are inherently boring, no matter what the BBC documentaries say. While it’s true some of them eat animals, or look like vicious aliens when sped up (a lot), it’s hard to get excited about something that in general just sits there.
The only interesting form of plants are, of course, the fast monster/alien vine-things found on sci-fi B-movies.
InfeCCt, despite the strange name, is about a monster/alien plant that grows as quickly as you can swipe your finger and plays a little like Snake, so it's already off to a good start.Snake Eyes
The aim of the game is very simple. You, as the plant, must fill in every blank square on the board by growing into it. This movement is performed by swiping across the screen, which is made easier by the fact that the plant can’t move of its own accord.
To prevent you just looping around with abandon, your plant - let's call him Steve - can’t double back on itself, making InfeCCt feel a little bit like a lost Puzzle mode from the classic Snake.
An empty grid is a bit dull, though, so Handygames has included a number of blocks on each level that are impassable as well as special tiles that have to be crossed twice, or teleport you to another location.
It’s a very simple concept, but as one of the golden rules of puzzlers is to keep it simple, it works well and makes for an addictive experience.
The controls are fair, and even with my fat fingers I had no trouble moving Steve to where I wanted him to go. The graphics too are simple but clear, and it’s very easy to identify the individual obstacles on screen.Unwind
Getting Steve past these obstacles is made painless by the inclusion of an excellent undo feature. By tapping on a previous part of its ‘body’, the plant retracts immediately, punishing the player only by docking points from their eventual score.
Even when things get really tricky and no amount of undoing helps, there’s always a ‘skip puzzle’ button that lets you bypass any screen at the cost of that level’s score.
There are a lot of screens to play through, over 300 by my count, so it’s not a game you’ll finish any time soon. Especially as when the extra tiles are eventually added, each screen becomes a real chin-scratcher to complete.
The key word there, though, was ‘eventually’, because InfeCCt takes a long time to get going. While 300+ levels sounds great on paper, when it takes over 70 for the puzzles to get even slightly engaging there might be a problem with pacing.
It’s even more frustrating when about halfway through the game InfeCCt decides, for no apparent reason, to take all the interesting obstacles away. They are gradually re-introduced over the course of the next 20 puzzles, but not after leaving an impression that the game has offered all it can by the halfway point.