I had heard Particulars compared favourably to Spacechem, which I regard as hands-down the best puzzle game ever made, so I was interested to see what it had in store. A big difference between the two titles (aside from their fundamental gameplay being completely dissimilar) is that Spacechem requires absolutely no pre-existing knowledge of chemistry, and what little knowledge it does require is clearly explained as the game progresses. Particulars assumes a basic level of familiarity with particle physics, which I do not have, as its efforts to explain the concepts it introduces are half-hearted at best.
The first few levels work on the basis of opposite particles attracting one another and colliding. Anybody can follow along with this. However as the game progresses and you need to absorb, mutate, eject particles into both other particles and yourself to be re-absorbed, broken apart, annihilated, so on and so forth, there is almost no effort taken to explain how this works. Consequently I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. None. I simply pressed buttons and flew my particle around the screen performing these actions until I eventually stumbled upon the winning combination. This was not trial and error so much as pure luck. Trial and error would actually be somewhat acceptable, however as the game operates on a chaotic plane, with particles quickly flying into one another and exploding or mutating, trial and error is not really possible. To succeed on any level beyond luck, you need to know exactly what you're doing so you can perform the task quickly enough.
There is a very original, compelling game to be found here, however until and unless a tutorial which assumes complete scientific ignorance on the player's behalf is implemented, I cannot possibly recommend this to a layperson.