Mind Wall may drive your perception skills up the wall

Posted: June 25, 2009 in Puzzle

Do you think you’re good at visualizing objects or have a decent sense of perception? Seeing spatially and playing spatially are two different things which you soon find out in the Mind Wall, a neat 3D puzzler that not only forces you to think differently, but also quickly. Presented in an elegantly designed format, Mind Wall offers addictive gameplay even as it taxes your visual senses.

The concept involves a moving wall with various openings heading straight for you and a shape that you must quickly figure out how to get safely through the square-shaped wall. The catch is that you can tap on any one spot on the wall to create that perfect opening. The difficulty is that only a few seconds separates success from failure. Each time you play the game, the walls are randomly generated so no two games play the same which may or may not be a good thing depending on how good you are.

Visually, the game has a geometric background and walls and shapes change in color every step of the way. The 3D animation is well implemented and a side view is presented so you can see the shape as it passes through or crashes into a wall. The soundtrack has an ominous tone, and I wish there more variety to spice change the atmospheric mood through the levels. The game thoughtfully also has auto-flip…the fact that I need to mention it means that too many devs still don’t include this essential feature.

The game contains 3 game modes: Standard, Gauntlet and Wall Designer. Standard offers 10 different shapes that must be progressively solved. Each level requires successfully completing a series of puzzles before the level is cleared and unlocks the next level. The shapes start out simple but gradually become more complex. Miss one puzzle, and you begin that level again.

Name of Levels
* Child’s Play
* Consciousness
* Expansion
* Dream State
* Doomnut
* Tree
* Snake
* Stonehenge
* The Sign
* Rocket

Additional levels would be welcome because I can see some who will quickly get through these levels. The other option is to change the shape of the wall so it’s not always a square. Instead, other shapes could include a triangle, octagon, circle and rectangle among others and would instantly provide a variety of different levels.

Standard mode is the training grounds for Gauntlet mode, and once you’ve successfully passed through 6 levels, Gauntlet mode is unlocked. Gauntlet is sort of the survival take on 3D shapes and is really what adds to the replay value of Mind Wall. Whereas the one specific shape is used for each level in Standard, multiple shapes are randomly used which will require to quick thinking in adapting to each shape that you must get through the wall. Scoring is based on shape and combo points, and the game ends once a shape crashes a wall.

Gauntlet offers both local and online scoreboards, and if you’re good enough to score 20,000 points which by the way can be difficult, you’re provided access to Wall Designer, a shape editor that allows you to design and play your own Mind Wall. By the way, I saw scores showing waves in the 50s and 60s which means they successfully completed 60 or so puzzles in a row which kind of blows my mind after having played this for a while.

As I mentioned, you’re only given one move each puzzle, and according to the dev, each puzzle is solvable. It’s a strange feeling because the more you play this, the quicker you get at visualizing the possibilities of the different openings. Once you tap on a spot which is illustrated by a yellow square, you may have a few seconds before the wall starts moving in so you change at the last minute before the wall and shape move in on each other. The game can also be frustrating because of the randomly generated levels so don’t think you get off any easier the next time.

Mind Wall is an elegantly designed game that while intuitive to play, provides enough tricks to keep you hooked. The Gauntlet mode in particular will test your ability to interpret shapes and force quick decision-making to see how many waves you can last. All in all, this is a good puzzler that should keep you busy for a little while.

Albie Meter: 4 Stars (recommended for puzzlers or those who want to test their perception skills)

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