Energy Cycle challenges you to achieve a very simply objective: turn all balls of energy on-screen to the same colour, but this proves to be a far more difficult and cerebral task than it first seems. It turns into an experience that can flummox you for a few hours but ultimately lacks the depth to engage you beyond a single session.
You’re tasked with solving 28 levels of energy ball patterns, where clicking on a ball turns it to a different colour, cycling through three different colours. This in turn causes all energy balls on that same row or column to also change colour. The puzzle is changing every energy ball so they all match, and figuring out which balls to click, how many times to click them, and in what order, turns into a challenging puzzle.
It starts off easy enough, with the first half a dozen taking a few minutes and a handful of clicks each, but as they get more complex the click count and time really begins to add up. Fortunately, it’s an intuitive puzzle mechanic; the energy balls shift between three different colours, so it’s quick and easy to reset them if you feel you’ve clicked wrong. And after a while you start to see the common patterns of the puzzles, and instinctively know what clicks will aid or disrupt your attempt to solve the screen.
However, whilst it can be engaging solving these colourful puzzles at first, there’s no depth to it, the mechanics and patterns don’t evolve and the satisfaction of completion quickly diminishes. After the 28 levels, there is a time trail mode that challenges you to complete randomised puzzles as quickly as possible, and another mode with randomised puzzles that has no limits, but there’s little incentive to keep playing.
Energy Cycle’s puzzling pattern recognition challenge is ideal for quick bouts of play to get the grey matter energised but lacks the depth and engagement to be played for long sessions. It fulfils the same immediate puzzle solving fix that titles like Solitaire do, making it a well-designed but shallow puzzle title.
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