Title: Samsara: Deluxe Edition
Publisher: Marker Limited
Genre: Puzzle, Strategy
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 31/12/2018
Price: £7.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Trapped in the world of Samsara, you could almost be thinking you are playing a game set in Hawkins, Indiana in the world of Stranger Things. There is a distinct reflection splitting the screen in two like a crystal clear lake, but that reflection below is not the same as the world above. This puzzle game is so much deeper than the pool that is reflecting this sky.
Looks and Sounds
The art style in Samsara has a straightforward design, and I’m not feeling very keen on our protagonists own graphics, Zee looks as if she was drawn in a rush using photoshop, the edges are sharp and jagged with what seems like the use of the smudge tool to add shadows, giving a messy look to the character Zee. I do, however, love the designs and the subtle differences between the world that Zee walks through and the “Upside-down” reflection that appears to give a slightly twisted and disturbing reflection.
The in-game animation is so smooth looking, and it’s so great to watch the character run up and down stairs and dive through portals to the exit. Even the gravity used with falling blocks is so accurate, which makes me feel disappointed when any cut scene animation is shown as they feel like these parts have been very lazily animated.
One thing that seems to be a real absence in Samsara is the lack of music while you play. Perhaps this is to not distract you from the puzzle that you are partaking in, you will only hear a short melody at the start, and finish of each level and the only thing you will hear while puzzle solving are the subtle sound effects used in the background of the levels.
Gameplay and Replayability
Samsara Deluxe Edition has all 77 original levels to complete, plus an additional 24 levels. each one has a set number of blocks that must be used to create a path to the exit, but the levels get increasingly harder and more complex blocks are introduced as the game progresses. You must be able to create a path that Zee can walk across safely without falling off any ledges or walking off the screen, as that results in a game over and you must try all over again.
The blocks can be placed in ether the real world or the “Upside-down” realm, resulting in a reflective phantom block that can be walked across. Over time, portals are introduced as ways of transporting through the level and even poor Zee is split into 2 entities and you find yourself guiding both Zee and her shadow twin to their own exits.
There is also an option to Inverse each level adding more complexity to the puzzles that you have all ready played, and flipping the levels dose not make it any more easy.
When I started playing Samsara I didn’t think that there was much to it, but as I keep moving through the levels I fell in love with the simple yet absorbing gameplay and just wanted to solve the next puzzle. Samsara has levels that click straight away in your head and others are so frustratingly complex that I almost feel that I will never find the solution. This game could become too complex to younger players but is a compelling game for people who enjoy challenging puzzles and thinking outside the box.
Get past the “Cute” childish art style and you have a challenging and difficult puzzle game that will have you scratching your head and coming back for more time after time.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Samsara: Deluxe Edition on the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Samsara-Deluxe-Edition-1491645.html