Go Puzzle is a PlayStation Network game available on the PlayStation 3 later this year. It consists of a trio of fun, brightly colored puzzle games that are easy to learn yet contain a surprising amount of depth. We had a chance to try all three during Sony's recent press event in San Diego and found ourselves wanting to play more than the brief time we had with the game.
The three puzzles include Aquatica, Skyscraper, and Swizzle Blocks, and while all three share the same attractive visual style, their approaches are quite different. Aquatica is perhaps the most basic of the three, as it's a Tetris-style puzzle game that takes place underwater. Sea mines of different colors drop in horizontally aligned groups of three. Should three mines of the same color drop on top of one another, they will explode and clear off of the map. As the trio of mines descends, you can flip the order horizontally by pressing a button on the controller, though there doesn't seem to be a way to make them move to a vertical alignment.
Based on our time with the game, Swizzle Blocks seems to be the most complex of the three games in Go Puzzle. Once again you're dealing with brightly colored objects--in this case, smiley-faced cubes that you must manipulate into square groups of four to eliminate from the map. To move the cubes closer to one another, you move an icon along the grid that holds the cubes and press either the R1 or L1 button to rotate a pair of cubes either right or left. The ultimate goal of each level is to completely clear away the cubes, though sometimes you'll be left with stray colored cubes, at which point new cubes will be added to the map.
While Aquatica and Swizzle Blocks are more abstract puzzle games, Skyscraper has the most charm, and even a story of sorts. The goal is to help a cute cartoon spaceman ascend a series of increasingly tall buildings, one section of floors at a time, so that he can reach his spaceship perched atop the top of each building. Each section of the building is made up of colored cubes; and the spaceman can move left, right, up, or down on each successive floor to reach the top of the level. Complexity is introduced by tight time restrictions on each level. You often can't get through even the most basic buildings without earning a time bonus, which is done by completing a set of floors by only crossing along cubes of a single color. This might require some backtracking to avoid stepping on cubes of different colors. The spaceman can also jump over one cube at a time, and as you make your way through the maps, you'll run into items such as keys that will unlock new buildings. Later in the game, your little spaceman will run into obstacles like conveyer belts and teleporters, which he can use to make his way up the towers, as well as larger blocks that he won't be able to leap. In addition to the standard puzzle mode, Skyscraper will include two-player races, where you can race against a buddy to see who can reach the top of the building first.
In all, Go Puzzle packs in three different puzzle games with enough variety to keep you engaged for quite a while. The attractive visuals and fun music will probably appeal to kids, while the complexity of the puzzles should keep the older set smiling, as well. The game will also be the first to include audio and visual chat on the PlayStation Network, provided you have a headset and EyeToy camera hooked up to your PS3. Go Puzzle is due for release later next month.