Wireframe

Reky review - more (and less) than Monument Valley

By Harry Slater. Posted

The vast majority of video games are about getting from A to B. The route might be circuitous, and you might be left to your own devices for a lot of the time, but traversal has almost always been a core gaming concept.

It’s an effective way to fool the brain into thinking progress is happening – a way of explaining the abstracted actions you’re taking as a form of movement.

Reky follows this well-worn path – it’s a puzzler about moving a black blob from one end of a series of Escher-esque constructions to the other, manipulating the scenery to create your path. That might make it sound like another Monument Valley-inspired addition to the App Store, but it’s both more and less than that.

There’s a puzzling purity here that avoids the emotional pulls of ustwo’s creation. A focus on logically working out what you need to do might make for a more mechanically intriguing game, but it leaves Reky lacking in other important areas.

The key to your progress here is coloured blocks. Swipe on these, and they’ll move in a set direction. Tap on the path, and your blob will move to that place if it can. Things get interesting when you have to start leeching the colour from blocks.

Tap when you’re on a coloured square, and your ball becomes that hue, tap again when you’ve moved onto a blank square, and you can deposit the colour, which means you can move a new block. There’s a neat learning curve that you always feel a short step ahead of, and while there isn’t much room for experimentation, there also isn’t any punishment for taking your time and figuring things out.

You can change the background colour if you’re having trouble seeing the challenges clearly.

Sometimes that’s a blessing, other times you feel like you’ve bodged a solution when a more elegant one is available. You can head back to levels at any point, but unless Reky has really got under your skin, it’s unlikely that you’re going to.

Where in other games the puzzling is pushed along by atmospheric and aesthetic changes, here everything looks very similar, and when new ideas do come in it’s a little too late.

None of which is to say that Reky is a bad game. It’s an incredibly intelligent puzzler that’s going to spark off all of the right triggers in players who love its combination of space to think and simple presentation.

What it’s lacking is that special spark, that heart that the finest games deliver in ways you can never quite pin down. Reky instead slides over you, entertaining when you’re involved but forgotten once you’ve put it down. At its heart, it’s about getting from A to B, but the overarching push from starting point to bitter end isn’t there like it is in the very best games.

Reky might be a masterclass in designing logical challenges, but it never captures your imagination enough to ensure you’re compelled to see everything it has to offer.

Highlight

The way the game introduces its new ideas is always strong. They’ll come in slowly towards the end of a set of tricky puzzles, before growing into the heart of the next chunk of the game. When you’re experimenting, you rarely feel lost, and that’s thanks to the skill that’s gone into the mechanical layering.

Verdict: 65%

Reky traverses some interesting ground, but it doesn’t manage to pull you along for the whole ride.

Genre: Puzzle
Format: iOS (tested)
Developer: beyondthosehills
Publisher: beyondthosehills
Price: £3.99
Release: Out now

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