ViviEon (Review)

Source: Cashmoneys
Price: £4
Where To Get It: Steam

Sometimes, you want a nice relaxing time. Other times, you play a match puzzler. Okay, I joke, because many folks, including myself, find such games relaxing, but games like ViviEon, with its constantly rising set of coloured, decal covered blocks (for easy colourblindness recognition), and its limited moves, has a surprising amount of tension.

And, alas, sooner or later, things go south…

Here’s how it goes down… As the crosshairs show, you have horizontal shifts, and vertical shifts. A single move shifts the row or column by one, in the direction you want, and it wraps around, with the exception of blocks able to fall, which do. Matching three or more tiles of the same type, horizontally or vertically, will allow those blocks to be destroyed once you end your turn. Once you do, some of your moves replenish (to a maximum of 45 moves), four rows of blocks drop down, and you keep going until the blocks reach the top, at which point, game over.

And you know what? I love this. I love the limitations, which are just enough that if you experiment drastically, you’re not going to have the room to reset that experiment, but still give you that room to do what you need to do, maximise the block destruction. I love that, if you find yourself a bit stuck, want to get a better combo score, or are a masochist, you can add more blocks willingly. And I love that simplicity, allowing you to know exactly where you stand. So, is there anything to crit?

Oh, the sweet release of getting a whole load of blocks removed!

Well… Not that much, to be honest. A lack of rebindable keys is not great, but then, the game is turn based, so it isn’t terrible. The soundtrack is slim, but it’s also relaxing, and doesn’t get tiresome, and the sound effects and graphics are solid, with just enough visual interest to keep it going. Maybe the UI could be scaled up for better readability.

Beyond that, though, I’ve had a heckuva time with ViviEon, coming back to it for just one more try, just… Let’s see if we can get a really big combo. Let’s see if I can last longer. Let’s see if I can do it quicker. Self chosen goals, within a tight framework, is one of my many jams, and ViviEon, as mentioned, does exactly what it says on the tin.

It’s also nice how easily it highlights exactly what will make a match: Desaturating colours, and outlining the symbols. Simple. Effective.

The Mad Welshman appreciates the tight. Especially when it also taxes his brain.

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