Please ,Touch the Artwork is a collection of three puzzle games dedicated to interactive art that takes place in an art gallery. It sounds a bit toffy but this is one of my favourite games released in 2022 so far. It is a joy to play and constantly surprises with its twists and turns.
The three puzzle games have around 60 – 80 puzzles each and they run for just over an hour each depending on how well you do. You enter the puzzles via a gallery owner who asks you about how tired you are. The more tired you say you are, the more hints you are given earlier to solve a puzzle! It’s a unique but fun way to break down the difficulty so you don’t get stuck. If I’m honest, only one of them will leave you truly stumped over and over but all three are great fun.
Puzzle type one is a painting puzzle that asks you to replicate the painting on the left hand side of the screen. The trick is that each puzzle is made up of shapes and you are given your colours in a certain order. You touch a shape and any other shape connected to it turns into the colour you’ve chosen. This means you have to think about the ink blot effect of your touches as where you press won’t change colour. This gets more complex as more colours, mirrors, shapes and warps start to be added into the mix and the hints tell you where you press to progress. There’s a par level you can aim for too.
Puzzle type two is a bit like a sliding block puzzler taking place on an top down painting of a city street. The blocks need to end up in their slots but as they move down the roads, they always travel forward like an ice block. However, the ink colours on the map affect the blocks actions. For example white blocks turn you left, right turns you right and black blocks are tunnels that warp you elsewhere. As the paintings get denser and busier you have to work out where a block will slide to and in what order to send them.
The third puzzle is more of a snake maze. Taking what looks like a London Underground tube map and turning it into a CPU chip network, you move across yellow roads to pick up all the black dots. Maps contort and get denser and busier as you wander across this painting turned commuter network. Each dot turns into a letter than slowly spells out a story of a city worker feeling stuck in life. It’s really quite touching and I love the way Please, Touch the Artwork uses its puzzle layouts to tell a story. This puzzle type is the easiest but possibly the one that might hurt your eyes when things are a bit busy too.
I have very little negative to say about the experience. I was genuinely engrossed and happily switched between the three modes in my gallery as I wanted to take a break from one type and play another. Add to that some elevator jazz music for background sound, the ability to see each level as an artwork in the level select gallery and some nice artists quotes and you have yourself a beautifully stylised solo dev gem. Please, Don’t Sleep on This.
Review copy provided by publisher.
Please Touch the Artwork
An odd engrossing collection of artistic puzzlers that are accessible, fun and beautifully constructed.
Three different puzzle games around a theme - all distinct with their own rules.
Excellent approach to difficulty levels.
Has an odd twee charm to it from graphics to music to style.
Some simple but effective story telling as puzzles unfold.
Colour blind mode
Some of the maze game levels feel like they'll hurt your eyes a bit.
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