Game Reviews


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| Perfection
| Perfection

Perfection and simplicity are close friends. From the prose of Hemingway to the sushi of Jiro, it's frequently the case that the simpler something gets the better it is.

That's the kind of perfection that Perfection is aiming for. In which case, it's a little bit too perfect. If it were sushi, it would constitute about three grains of pretty good rice. If it were prose it would be an impeccably spelled, pleasantly lyrical, but fatally aimless phrase like, "Geronimo binoculars discombobulate."

It all starts off so well. In each randomly generated stage you begin with an outline and a block of stuff that you have to prune in straight lines so that it matches the outline.

The game records the number of cuts you make, but only within a given round, after which it forgets forever, leaving you unscarred as you tackle another randomly generated shape in a theoretically infinite procession.

If you carve out a shape without making too many cuts you'll achieve the titular 'Perfection', even if the shape only adequately matches the outline.

It becomes clear why this in the case on the few occasions that the game decides to be strict rather than generous. Slicing slivers of stuff away in a doomed effort to appease a fussy machine isn't much fun.

Less is less

There are three settings to play on. The simplest just gives you an outline and a larger shape of the same scale and orientation. All you have to do is find the bit you need to lop off. The next simplest forces you to rotate the stuff, and the toughest of all forces you to both rotate and resize, which you do with two fingers.

But even at its toughest, Perfection predominantly involves spotting the bit of the stuff that matches the outline and then chopping away everything else. The challenge is minimal.

There are stages on which you might conceivably get stuck because there's some ambiguity about which bit of the stuff matches which bit of the outline, but even if you do run into one of these you can just randomly generate another stage and move on. Nobody needs to know but you.

And so it goes on. You swipe, you carve, you generally succeed, and another ephemeral, inconsequential shape presents itself for dissection.

The kindest way to look at Perfection is as the foundation of a much better game. It's a nice idea, mostly well-executed, and you may find yourself dipping into it from time to time for a bit of meditative slicing to the game's beautiful electronic music.

But it needs more. It needs goals, penalties, rewards, a feeling of progress, and some semblance of structure. It could do with leaderboards and a level editor too.

Without those essential ingredients, this initially promising game quickly becomes tedious.


Perfection contains a solid central mechanic and it's nicely presented, but the unadorned slicing wears thin very quickly