To get this out of the way, I am not a smart man. Puzzle games aren’t generally my thing, and the only reason I made it through the Portal series was because there were characters saying silly things in the background while the story was developing into something fantastic. Other than that, if someone presents me with a puzzle and asks me how to solve it, I just kinda shrug.
Enter UNWYND by Dropout Games, a developer out of India. To emphasize my lack of intellectual fortitude I spent most of the game wondering in the back of my mind what the acronym in the beginning stood for.
I am not a smart man.
Anyway, UNWYND, so named because of the reason people tend to play puzzle games, has a fairly straightforward concept: Players have to connect different-colored blocks to each other while trying to achieve a prescribed number of circles and X’s. The game is easy to understand, but grows more complex as the player progresses. Circles are given for like colors in the line, and X’s are given for anything else that happens to be in the path of the line. The first two or three levels are tutorial levels where the player is guided in the actions needed to play the game, which are basically swiping left, right, up and down. I played the version for Android devices for this particular review, and I could see how I or anyone else could fall prey to its addictive properties.
But such a simple concept can only advance in difficulty so much, and as a result there are three different game modes that are variations on the original premise. The core game mode, which I already described, is accurately referred to as “Lines.” There’s also “Colors,” which adds a third color, yellow, to the original green and red, and “Walls,” which as the name suggests, makes use of walls to block off the lines made by the player and forces them to think about their moves.
UNWYND’s bare bones mechanics matches its minimalist design. All the player needs is set out before them. The game screen consists of all the blocks the player will be working with, and at the top there’s the number of Xs and circles of each color that the player needs to get under how many they currently have, allowing the player to adjust their strategy when they realize they have 4-out-of 2 Xs and zero circles. The clean design scheme makes for a relatively distraction-free gaming experience, which goes along with what the whole game seems to be trying to offer: A serene opportunity to veg out for a couple of minutes and not really think too much about anything.
I enjoyed UNWYND’s deceptively simple gameplay. It doesn’t have much for replayability, but the player will have a time-and-a-half just getting through every mode. It’s one of those apps that make for very good time wasters. If you’re in-between tasks or procrastinating, it’s an easy game to pull out and just connect a few tiles. UNWYND is a solid first title for new developer Dropout Games.