Splice is a puzzle game about manipulating genes; puzzles consist of moving individual cells into a predetermined pattern within a set number of moves. When first launched, the cells seem troublesome, erratic, and difficult to handle, but after a few sequences their patterns become obvious, allowing advanced assumptions and predictions to be made. While the puzzles start easy enough, the introduction of utility cells which can extend, duplicate, or destroy other cells slowly ramp up the difficulty. Later puzzles can be difficult, yet remain fair and can be overcome with enough thought and tenacity; this allows Splice to blissfully incorporate a nice balance of increasing difficulty without moving into the realm of the absurd or impossible.
Visually and audibly, Splice truly shines. Minimal graphics and a haunting soundtrack add a surreal quality to the puzzles. Even on the more difficult levels there is something soothing and beckoning about the looks and sounds being offered to the senses. For a puzzle game, it is difficult to imagine a style more inviting or enticing.
The only deterrents are those common to the genre; if you are not immediately struck by the puzzle type there will not be a sudden change in the gameplay. The puzzles are diverse and interesting, but never leave the general concept presented from the start. Length has also been mentioned as a negative, but with the epilogue, Splice totals just under 100 puzzles which seems more than reasonable. Other puzzle games have offered nearly limitless levels, but often those levels seem to sprout from random generation and not through individually, well thought out puzzles such as those found in Splice.
Posted: February 5th, 2014