Island Maze is a clever, relaxing, and fun little puzzle game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s quick to pick up, easy to understand, but tough to solve, in my experience anyway.
I’ve never been good at the Rubix Cube. That’s a very random statement I know but it bears mentioning that if you’re good at or enjoy the challenge of one of those physical puzzles then you’ll find the gameplay of Island Maze right in your wheelhouse.
The goal of the game, in each of the 28 cleverly designed levels, is to get your cube from start to finish. You’ll move the cube around by pressing around on the joystick or directional buttons/pad to roll the cube over. The challenge therein lies in the restrictions and the obstacles that are placed in your way. In the game there are special tiles that you need to pass in each level. These tiles usually have a corresponding coloured gem buried in them. In order to pass this tile successfully you’ll need to make sure that when you roll your cube over the tile that side also has the same coloured gem.
These gems are floating around the level and you have to roll your gem into one of these to pick them up. As the game progresses you’ll also encounter multiple coloured gems as well as magnetic gems, which allow you to stick to and climb along vertical surfaces. One caveat though is that once you roll into a gem you can’t remove it so you have to plan your moves wisely.
If you’re not one for three-dimensional thinking the process of rotating your cube with just the right series of moves to maneuver the desired side into the desired direction can be downright frustrating. Of course that’s of no fault of the game; speak to your brain on that one. (I considered watching turorial videos on Rubix Cubes in order to perfect the mind-bending logic behind this, but opted to just tough it out.)
Juxtaposed with the maddening series of “roll the cube around to get it in the right position – damn”, “roll it around again in a slightly different series of moves to get it to face the right direction – double damn” is a ultra relaxing and calming soundtrack. The music is soft and pleasant, as are the sound effects of the game. Even the sound of your cube exploding into pieces (if you touch a gem tile without the corresponding cube gem) is subtle and calming.
The game is a bit light on the number of levels at only 28 in the package, but when you take into account the extremely reasonable and low price point of $2.99 CAD that’s not a bad deal at all. And let’s be honest, I only got one or two stars on the bulk of my levels anyway. It’ll take a lot of time to try to get down to the low number of moves to get three stars on them.
Island Maze was a nice little pick up in the Nintendo eShop and is definitely a nice game to sit back, relax, and challenge your brain.