What a choice of name! It evokes a sense of perfection, of focus, of purity of concept: something that is becoming ever more rare in today’s computer games, with the push to include more, to attempt to cater for more people, causing many a developer to bulk out their games with so many themes and concepts that their games lose their sense of place, their sense of coherence. In a development community such as this, to name your game Purity could be seen as a real statement of intent, a rejection of current standards.
Of course, it could also just be something that the developer liked the sound of. Which is it to be? Read on to find out.
What is Purity? Well, I was glad to discover that the title did indeed hint at a single-minded game: this is a puzzler constructed from an age-old template; that of tile-removal game. That is to say, a game in which you move across a series of tiles, removing each as you go. The aim, straightforwardly enough, is to remove all of the tiles from a level, thus unlocking the exit and progressing to the next.
And that really is that! The challenge comes from the fact that while you need to clear tiles to succeed, you also need the remaining tiles to allow you access to the rest of the level, always maintaining a route to the exit. As such, success revolves around your ability to carefully plan out a route before setting off, working out the necessary path to clear every tile from the map without ever leaving yourself stranded. A simple, ‘pure’ challenge, and nothing more.
The real question is whether this purity of design is to the game’s benefit, or to its detriment, and that will depend solely on the player’s taste. As already stated, this is a very old design – anybody familiar with puzzle games on the 8-bit and 16-bit computers will almost certainly have played something like this before. Looking away from computer games we see this sort of puzzle –where a path has to be cleared, a shape replicated, without doubling back – arising in all sorts of puzzle compendiums. This is an enduring design, and it’s easy to understand why: it’s extremely simple to understand, yet challenging to master. And this is just as true with Purity.
That’s all there is to say about the game of Purity – the odds are good that you’ll already know whether this is the sort of game for you. However, there are two flaws worth pointing out, both aesthetic. First: this is a free game. Which doesn’t sound much of a criticism, but it leads to a particular approach: this is an ad-supported game. Which is fine – it gets no more in the way here than with any other title – but it does rather detract from the ‘pure’ ideal of the game to have a banner overhanging the top of the screen.
Second, and even simpler: this is not a particularly pretty game. It’s not ugly by any means, and it’s clear that the developers have tried to keep the aesthetic as ‘pure’ as the game’s title, but it sadly comes away looking rather dull, lacking the attractive, clean aesthetic of other abstract titles such as Orb.
These are minor issues, but were the game possessing of a stronger aesthetic it would be easier for the player to be drawn into its gameplay, to have their focus directed purely towards the puzzles. Other than that, though, this is a perfectly capable little puzzler, and is, of course, entirely free.
Purity Gameplay Video
Version Under Review : 220.127.116.11
Purity is a FREE game for Windows Phone 7
Our Rating for Purity