Look out bricks, you’re surrounded
I don’t like puzzle games concerning clearing up a grid of shapes. Partly because I burn anyone who utilises the talent of forward thinking, dousing them in petrol and accusations in witchcraft due to the sheer hell of it, partly because of a competitive bout of ‘OCD’. A vigilante pixelated dustman to the masses, I must clear everything, all must be 100% perfect, at least in Assassin’s Creed 2 I could sweep away both shady conspirators as well as sweep away all the feathers littering the streets. The addition of a ‘Now Wash Your Hands’ mini-game after assassinations would have made it an instant classic. Shame really, as Concentrix doesn’t really stand much of a chance when this is lined up with so many other issues.
Concentrix takes place on a circular battlefield, with coloured bricks spawning from the centre, slowly making their way to settle upon the edges. All’s well and good until these bricks start piling up, and only by joining up corresponding coloured blocks will the area clear.
It all sounds very familiar, but wait! Did I just hint that all this takes place on a circular layout!? I did! The landscape format feels like an attempt to refresh the brick demolishing puzzle genre of old, but feels riddled with unnecessary complications. There feels like a lack of any order with the colour combinations and shapes falling to their doom. After a while of swapping colours and blocks to make desired formations upon the blank layout, the concept begins to catch on, yet still fails to entertain. It’s the Nick Griffin of puzzlers, unnecessarily smartarsey, hardly likeable and doesn’t quite know how to handle colours.
Elements that attempt to refresh a block busting concept only prove to overcomplicate
With a shaky starting block, it’s hard to justify the 8 game modes, even when they’re tied up with a budget price tag. All these ‘variations’ do little to deliver any additional joy to the title, throwing in only more colours and complicated tile formations, with only one really spicing up the formula. Although it feels fairly sullied, the array of variations accompanied by undeniable good value may still lure in the most dedicated of puzzle fanatics for an challenge that will at least put up a fight to not disappoint the more experienced audience.
With it’s indie background, it’s unfair to knock the simplistic matte finished graphics. They do nothing to earn admiration, but they provoke enough envy in rainbows for players to at least attempt to clear the board of brightness. Accompanied by a solid yet slightly eerie techno soundtrack, you can’t help but feel you’re stuck in the opening credits of The Krypton Factor.
Elements that attempt to refresh a block busting concept only prove to overcomplicate, leaving behind the foundations of a sub-genre that still feels as though it needs renovation. Throughout play I’m constantly reminded of Tetris and its use of simplistic dynamics which can still cause many an addiction which can easily force any casual beginner to strive to become a clearance professional. It’s all very admirable to try and evolve a stale concept, yet Concentrix goes the wrong way about it, sometimes making gameplay too impractical to be deemed enjoyable. Fresh and unique ideas are welcome, yet need to at least be grounded to practicalities before leaping away for the stars of originality.
The Bad: Little reward for playing through, The original concept of an old formula fails to re-invent,