I love a minimalistic puzzle game that uses a couple of simple game mechanics and then really dives into them. The Sinkr series is one I’ve followed over the last 5 years and Sinkr 3 is the finale to it. In many ways its a culmination of the series’ efforts and ideas whilst taking it into a new, trickier direction too.
The idea of Sinkr 3 is that you have retractable hooks that you can trigger that scoop up pucks and drops them into delivery slots. Previous games played with complex webs of hooks that you’d need to drag these pucks around in and that forms the opening 20 odd levels in Sinkr 3, quickly covering old ground and reminding players of some of these intricacies. The hooks themselves can be clicked on to flip them over so they can collect and deposit pucks either side of the line they’re attached to. You can also use this to tie two hooks together. This means you can tactically drag certain hooks in reverse and this is something that crops up repeatedly in later levels.
Sinkr 3 introduces its main three new gameplay elements early on. New is the ability to have diagonal moves. This opens up all kinds of additional options and I found it took me a while to get used to the extra orientation. Thankfully, the background of the game is a faintly dotted skyline/graph paper hybrid that lets you easily track movements to make it easier to plan ahead. This helps the second big change – pulsators. These new blocks will push pucks in certain directions so you’ll be throwing pucks between hooks with this or spinning the blocks around to create chain moves like a golf game to reach the hole. From half way through the game, this is also used in a more rhythmic sense and this is tied to the third new change, multi shaped pucks and end points. Square pucks and holes are introduced but they cause a unique problem. Circle pucks can fall into a square hole but a square can’t do the same for a circular hole. Ah pegs! This means sometimes you need to angle your newly introduced pulsator blocks to get a square puck out of the way and have it bounce between two forever. Then you’ll need to time your movement to get the circle puck where you need it to go before the square puck returns. It feels rhythmic and a little like the block stacking game too.
All this comes together to make Sinkr 3 feel comprehensive and a great send off for the series. You are under no time pressure for puzzles and at times you can skip a few puzzles if you get stuck and return to them later. The Sinkr series is great, but if you are new to minimalist puzzle games, I’d absolutely recommend the Hook, Lyne and Sinkr bundle. All the games there are top tier and Sinkr 3 is no exception.
Review copy provided by developer.
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