Published on November 11th, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
hocus. is one of those games where leaving your brain at the welcome mat won’t be the smartest idea you’ve ever had, since the game is designed to be a mind-bending, minimalist puzzle game that could leave you scratching your head every now and then especially in some of the later levels. Developer Yunus Ayyildiz is the individual behind this brain-busting puzzle game for iOS (iPhone and iPad), and you’ll have him to thank for all the challenges that come your way when you load up a new level.
Gameplay in hocus. will have you navigating a small, red cube around a strange 3D level, where perspective means everything when it comes to getting to the end goal; the red box. The reason behind me saying the levels are strange, is the fact that these 3D levels are designed in such a way that every part of the shape that you’re on can be traversed across, regardless of what plane you might be on. You see, you could be on one side, move your way across, and then make your way down the new side you’ve found yourself on.
Describing just how you traverse the levels is not an easy feat, especially when you consider the iPhone game is supposed to make you a little confused whenever you play. It’s a gameplay mechanic you have to see for yourself to understand what is really going on inside the game.
In the beginning, you may not quite have the full understanding of what’s going on, until you get and finish the tutorial. In a lot of different titles, you can get away with skipping the tutorial, and away you go without any real problems. hocus. does not leave you with that privilege since your best chances of success is figuring out what you’re actually supposed to do. It’s definitely recommended to pay attention to the tutorial as it just might save you from some future frustrations.
It’s safe to say the iPad game is not an easy one. Let me just tell you now, there are going to be times where you get stuck, that is for sure. The game isn’t designed to be easy, so don’t expect every level to be a walk in the park.
However, if you are looking for a challenge, hocus. just might have that for you. It may be a little short at only 50 levels for the time being, but the developer does have more levels planned for the future, so if you find yourself finishing the game too quickly, don’t act too hastily to uninstall it, as a content update will be coming.
Now, due to the nature of the game, there is going to be times where the placement of your cube may not be the most optimal for you, as it could be hiding behind a piece of the level. Instead of giving the player access to any camera controls, of which would only complicate the game further, which would have the player worry about something else, the developer opted for something a little different. The feature they have included is you can see at the top of the screen, and it acts as a form of compass. Not a compass that shows North, East, South and West, but one that shows you which directions you may roll your block.
You see, the feature shows a little arrow in all the directions you may go with your block. If you can’t go in a certain direction, then the game won’t mislead you by saying it’s a possibly. It will only ever show you available ways for you to move the block, so if you ever find yourself confused on where you should be going, a quick glance at the compass and you’ll have an idea on what your options actually are.
Graphically, hocus. totes a very simple and minimalist art-style that is designed in such a way to be visually appealing, and yet not take away the focus from the main aspect of the game; that being the gameplay.
As far as puzzle games go, hocus. attempts at something different, and I would say it’s done it well. The notion of trying to solve a puzzle on a 3D perspective that you can never be quite sure which part of it you’re actually on, makes for a fun, intriguing, and rather difficult game all in one package.
Obviously, it should come as no surprise that if you don’t like puzzle games; you won’t be enjoying hocus.. It’s a puzzle game at its core, and there is no two ways around that. Regardless whether you’re a fan of the genre or simply just a casual player who would like to have a go on a couple of levels during their lunch break, hocus. might just be able to fill a particular itch for you. It doesn’t take two seconds to load it up. and get a start on the level that’s been plaguing you since the last time you played.
Overall, hocus. is a fun, little puzzle game that currently is a little low on its content level, but thankfully has plans to have even more levels introduced to it, extending the life of the iPhone game. As fun and satisfying as the puzzles are, once you’ve finished one, it’s relatively simple to get and do it again, defeating the point of replaying the level. I suppose you can set yourself a challenge to do a level in the lowest amount of moves, but other than that, the replay value is only so large right now. In time, that will change, so if you find yourself enjoying the idea of the core gameplay, then do yourself a favor and get the iPad game for yourself. Even five minutes of play is enough for you to enjoy your time.
Summary: hocus. is a puzzle game that doesn’t ask for much of your time, but it sure does give you the enjoyment you would expect. With a fair price, unique and fun gameplay, and future levels being implemented into it, it’s an iPhone and iPad game that deserves your attention.