If you enjoyed The Witness but found the puzzles perhaps too tricky and wanted a gentler and more immediately accessible entry to line, laser and line of sight puzzle games – The Pillar Puzzle Escape might be just what you are looking for.
The Pillar is a small scaled low poly puzzle game where each area has a rising pillar out of the ground. Environmental puzzles such as triggering switches, jumping through portals and unlocking codes from visual clues will allow the pillar to rise higher. Each time is rises it then unveils small, short line based puzzles on it to be completed. By line puzzles I mean you’ll have a grid full of matching dot colours and you’ll need to join them u without breaking the lines. This mobile game has been around for ages but placed into a wider grander puzzle game here. The Pillar also switches this up, having the line move around quickly and asks you to repeat it, drawing patterns you’ll have spotted on walls and so on. It is a simple mechanic that is used in lots of different ways.
The fun of The Pillar is that puzzles are short and often revealed in groups of 4 so if you have a mental block on one of them, you can come back to it after a doing some others. Nothing ever feels really obtuse either although some of the visual puzzles that require you to see through windows or line up ceilings to reveal numbers may require a bit of fiddling to get all the info you need. Controls work well and the low poly vibe means that graphics are clean and easy to understand.
I love puzzle games, although I’m slow at them. It took me about five hours to get through the main campaign but I’d imagine brainier players can zip through in just over three. What I liked about The Pillar was that most puzzles could be solved by narrowing down options and being methodical. It gave me great satisfaction to clear an area and seeing the pillar shining brightly and opening the next door was a rewarding goal to achieve. As it is quite a focused game, each world brings in a new mechanic and adds it to the mix. This can mean that some puzzles feel harder than others whilst being in the same world, making the difficulty a bit of a rollercoaster rather than a line. I didn’t mind that too much as the game is short but priced appropriately.
If you think of The Pillar Puzzle Escape as a starter puzzle game, I can’t find anything wrong with it at all. It may not challenge the brightest minds too much and it may borrow heavily from other games but it stitches it all together nicely. The Pillar was a very pleasant surprise indeed.
The Pillar Puzzle Escape
Borrows all its best features from elsewhere but makes a fine introduction game for junior puzzle gamers.
Plenty of puzzle variety within its core gameplay mechanics.
Clean, easy to understand visual design,
Usually a choice of puzzle to complete to help you get around brain fade.
Borrows all its best features from other games.
Won't be a challenge for the hardcore puzzle crowd.
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