There is a surprise large amount of puzzle games out there and coming up with something fresh and new is no easy task. Thankfully, Semispheres is now here that does just that and brings challenges that you will not expect.
Semispeheres initially looks like a very basic game with the goal of getting your orb to the goal portal. That is very quickly diminished when you see the map is slip into 2 identical maps with one orb each, and this is where your mind will start protesting your decision to play. Each orb is controlled via your thumb sticks, the orange one with your left stick and the blue with your right stick.
In some of the puzzles, you can operate the orbs individually which makes it much easier to comprehend what you are doing with increased accuracy of movement. Others though, you will need to control them at the same time and when having to negotiate turns, it gets confusing quickly.
Each map is relatively basic however there are drones that detect and destroy your orb and you will need to avoid their area of view. Throughout the game, you have selected pickups that can assist you. One of these makes a noise which the drone will move to investigate. This will allow you to quickly manoeuvre away and past their point of origin before they return. Another pickup can create a portal between the maps which means one orb can use the noise from the one map and interact with the drones on the other without detection. Other pickups are creatively helpful and unique that are available during later levels. Clearly, there is a bit of a learning curve and may require some planning and forethought before attempting.
Each group of 4-5 levels do reward you with a comic strip that does tell a story however it doesn’t really relate to the gameplay in my opinion but even that was nice to receive as a small break between groups. It is no secret that there are just 13 groups of puzzles which can make the game fairly short for clever players but I believe there could be multiple ways to solve some levels and therefore this could be a great game for speed runners or players who want to challenge themselves to beat their previous times.
The great thing about this game, is its simplicity in design and complexity to the gameplay. Some levels were quite easy but the mix with those that are more difficult gives Semispheres a great balance. The downside I have is that it is quite short and I would like to see more levels or maybe an option to do these levels with different pickups as an added challenge following completion of the game.
Audio & Visuals
As mentioned earlier, visually Semispheres is fairly basic containing very few movable objects, being your orbs and the drones, with a couple of pickups and the wall layout placed over a background. However this is a puzzle game and your attention is focused on solving the puzzles, so I have no problem with the simplicity that has been presented. That also goes for the audio, there is a very relaxing background track which may or may not subconsciously calm your anger during the complex levels. Other than the soundtrack, you have audible cues to when you collect and use pick ups, as well as detection and level completion. That being said, for a puzzle game, I did not expect much more and I am happy with it.
Semispheres is a really clever puzzler and one that I did enjoy. It is a great game to quickly pickup, play some levels if you need something to do for a short break, as well as something you can spend hours on refining your speed. Either way, it is a good option for fans of a puzzle game that will get them thinking.