App of the week: Euclidean Lands review
40 levels of stabby violence and Rubik's Cube trickery
Given that Kunabi Brother’s only previous mobile game was Blek, a minimal puzzler where you urged living calligraphy towards a goal, Euclidean Lands is a truly astonishing departure.
Resembling something a big studio might have plugged a money hose into in order to produce – rather than the output of a tiny indie – Euclidean Lands merges the best bits of Hitman GO‘s clockwork puzzling and Monument Valley‘s aesthetic, adds plenty of stabby violence, and wraps the lot around a Rubik’s Cube suspended in space.
Do the twist
Your aim in each of the 40 levels is to off lurking enemies before heading to an exit. That sounds simple, until you remember the Rubik’s Cube bit.
At any given point, your target may be out of sight. Getting into position to get all murdery with your spear is complicated by enemies that guard certain squares, or unhelpfully move about the place.
The constantly evolving nature of the landscape makes Euclidean Lands come alive while simultaneously smashing your brain out. Very early levels are relatively simple, taking place on two-by-two cubes. But you’re soon faced with much larger contraptions, walls that block movement, teleporters, and bridges.
Even when Euclidean Lands is kind enough to bestow a shield, you reason it’s a puzzle piece itself, and the level is likely impossible without it.
Occasionally, it might seem too much. Reach the first boss and you’ll find they control the cube, leading to numerous deaths as you master what happens when you step on certain squares. Then, you might hanker for an undo button (there isn’t one) and be frustrated that every abrupt death means starting from scratch.
Ultimately, this just encourages you to think more. Euclidean Lands is a considered lean-back puzzler, not a frantic dash to the finish. And while scratching your head, trying to solve a particularly onerous scene, patient players will start noticing finer details: the serene soundtrack, tiny fish leaping from square ponds, the hero’s scarf whipping in the wind, and written clues embedded in the scenery.
Unless you’re a massive grump – or have been impaled by a mean boss for the thirtieth time in a row – chances are further reflection will result in you being very glad mobile is blessed with puzzle games as terrific as this one.
Euclidean Lands is available for iOS. An Android version is under consideration.
One of the finest puzzlers around. Its influences might be clear, but Euclidean Lands adds a great deal more.
Looks and sounds amazing
Keeps shaking things up
Clever, elegant puzzles
Linear level unlock
Some difficulty spikes
Instadeaths can grate