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Review: Chains January 5, 2009

Posted by Jesse in : Game Reviews , add a comment

Game: Chains
Version: Full version
Platform: Windows

Chains is a very surprising little puzzle game. I’ll admit that when I installed the game, I was expecting something like one of those flash games where you click on colored balls and they vanish, with more to take their place, until you either clear them all, or die of boredom. And at first, in level one, Chains isn’t entirely unlike those games, but I noticed something different was happening. When new balls fell into the play field, the old balls were being pushed around. Physics?!? Splendid!

As early as level two, you get to see why this makes the game so much better. The balls are filling up a tank with a detachable bottom. The bottom is held up by a counterweight, and if you let the tank fill up with too many balls, they’ll spill out and you’ll lose them. Lose too many, and you have to start over. In another level, the balls are pouring out onto two sides of a beam. If you let one side grow too heavy, it’ll lean the beam too far in that direction, so you have to clear both sides at the same time. As you might guess, this can become very hectic, and it’s alot of fun.

I did have a little trouble with the difficulty curve, though. Level four is another interesting twist. You are presented with a tube, and balls flow from the top to the bottom, and you need to keep the flow going for five minutes to win. The catch is that there are some unmovable obstructions in the tube, and the balls you are presented with come in lots of different sizes. The big ones just won’t fit. If you don’t clear them early enough (often while they’re still falling) you can find yourself getting into trouble pretty easily. I’d played the level about a dozen times, and didn’t get beyond a minute and a half, and that was on the easy setting. But I persevered, and eventually managed to get better and better until I made it through. I’m glad I did, because the levels just get better the further you get into the game.

Overall, I’d say that Chains is definitely worth your time. Grab the demo!