reky Review

reky is a minimalistic puzzler tasking players with bouncing a blob from one area on its MC Esher-inspired levels to an end goal. Along the way, the layout of multiple blocks can be moved within that levels framework to change the current perspective from impassable to a new route forward. It sounds far more complicated than it feels to play, although that’s not to say there isn’t a challenge here.

Things start easy enough, with the first few levels getting us used to just moving blocks about in order to change the pathways available to us. Developer beyondthosehills don’t take long to start testing the old brain matter though, and the creativity behind the layouts soon impresses.

The blocks available to move on each level differ in colour and function, so first thing first is to figure out what moves where, and how. To further confuse things, our blob is capable of sucking up the colour of a block and moving it to another. It can hold only one colour at a time and so careful planning is needed to not snooker ourselves. Removing and replacing the colour in the same block also serves as a function to be used – in this case, this resets the blocks starting point, letting us slowly move said block further than it will initially go.

All of this movement is in aid of getting our blob to the end goal, ideally within that stages movement count. Most stages have several black holes in the wall, many of which are used to transport the blob around the stage, while one is the exit. The only hint we get is a small flicker around the edge of the exit one, and I must admit I was puzzling blind for a while until I spotted this, which made some of the earlier puzzles harder than needed. Regardless, that movement goal aim is fairly generous and serves as a good indicator as to whether we’re on the right track.

Handily, should we make a mistake we’re able to undo as many steps as we need to which also rewinds the movement counter. Don’t be fooled by a simple looking level offering a counter of 60-odd either, there’s always a good reason for it.

The premise of reky is decent then, and puzzle fans are encouraged to check it out. However, in my time with the game I’ve found a few niggles that have soured my experience somewhat.

Firstly, movement of the blob feels awkward at times. There are two different control settings to account for the isometric camera but neither one seemed to eliminate the blob occasionally moving the wrong way – thank goodness for the undo button.

The coloured blocks denote which way they will move but not by how much – one level might see a blue block raise up four, while another only two, for example. It means we need to test each block on each level which, albeit a small thing, I found made it awkward to just look at a level and begin to plan, especially when there are more than one of the same colour in a level that behave differently.

One final note is on my progress with reky. In the first few days of play I completed the opening levels only to return and find random stages showing as incomplete, blocking further progress – and in one case, re-locking a set of stages I’d already unlocked and beaten while still showing a couple of stages within as cleared. I’ve given it a few days and have reached out to PR to see if this is hopefully just something my end, but since then this problem hasn’t arisen again. Hopefully it was an early bug that has been fixed now, though I will say I suspect Quick Resume played a hand in this as well.

Conclusion

Reky offers a uniquely styled puzzler title with a deceptive challenge, although at times the interface makes this harder than it should otherwise be.

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This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

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Good
  • Nice minimalistic visual style
  • Plenty of levels to beat
  • Good amount of challenge to the abstract puzzles
Bad
  • Controls feel off at times
  • Movement logic for boxes isn’t consistent
7
Good
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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