The goal of Puzzle Dimension is simple: roll a ball around a three-dimensional level of tiles, pick up all the sunflowers and then roll through the exit. There are no enemies or timer present, the challenge lies in the levels themselves. As you play through the game, special tiles are added that have to be worked around and with in order to solve the level. These include tiles that break away after they are rolled over, catapult tiles that propel the ball forward a few tiles and icy tiles that the ball cannot be stopped on. Gravity also plays a factor; the ball can be dropped onto lower tiles and if it falls off a tile the level must be restarted.
The arrow keys move the ball around, and the space bar is used to jump. Pressing C activates ‘camera mode’ which zooms out, allowing the player to view the entire level and plan out a strategy, and Shift allows the camera to be rotated around the ball.
I had fun with the game at first, but the trial-and-error gameplay did get tedious at times. There is often only one way to complete each level, which can also lead to some frustration. While the ability to skip levels and the option to restarte at any time helped ease the frustration a little, an “Undo” option would have been nice.
The graphics are nice to look at; the levels are intentionally pixellated at the start of each one and as the ball rolls around, pixels on nearby objects fly away revealing sharp modern textures underneath. It’s a nice touch that gives the game a unique look. The retro feel extends to the electronic music that shares the relaxed feel of the game.
Puzzle Dimension is a good game that challenges the grey matter instead of the reflexes, and while fans of frantic blockbusters like Tetris and Meteos might be put off by its slow pace, more patient gamers will find lots to like here.