Rotor’scope Review

Rotor’scope is a complex puzzle game developed by Nivel21 for the Xbox Live Indie Community.   The game offers a variety of puzzles, which become increasing difficulty very quickly. So, just how good of a puzzle game is Rotor’scope?  Read on to find out if it’s worth taking a look!

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Rotor’scope is made up of block puzzles where you are given the common task of aligning blocks with specific colors, causing them to disappear.  All puzzles are set in a square playing field, and you can rotate the whole block clockwise, counter-clockwise, or flip the whole board upside-down. Earlier puzzles in the game are extremely basic and you figure out the concept of how to play. As you progress, you’ll have to magnetic blocks, color-switching blocks, and even electricity blocks that need to be aligned with others on specific puzzles. With magnetic blocks, if they touch a stationary block in the main grid, it’s stuck, so you have to make the correct moves in order to set it up properly. At any time, you’re allowed to backtrack 1 move, so if you hit the wrong button, you’re not required to start over.

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As you progress, puzzles become extremely challenging, and you will make the wrong moves. Luckily, a wonderful feature of Rotor’scope is the little message box that pops up and says “I think you should take a different approach.” or “Maybe you should restart the puzzle.” Whenever you see that, restart the puzzle because you’re wasting time otherwise.  At times, some puzzles look extremely complicated yet they have a simple solution is 4-7 moves. However, I’m terrible at the advanced levels and it takes me 80+ moves to complete. There is no actual grading system stopping you from progressing, but you can share your time/move records on Facebook through a menu option. It’s good to see more Indie games starting to put extra features like this into their games.

You may be wondering what the point of playing the game is? Well, besides having a copious amount of puzzles to solve, Rotor’scope comes bundled with a decent story as well, and it’s illustrated through an anime style like that of Professor Layton (DS). As you solve puzzles throughout the estate, you’ll unravel a mysterious story with the help of Julie and Traveller, as they figure out what’s happened to a famous inventor who discovered an endless energy source. Although told through text only, the characters are comical, and the plot stays interesting.

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The presentation and content in this game is nothing short of fantastic. The main menu cycles through images of Julie and Traveller, while a beautiful piano tune plays, while other menus have different pieces to listen to. In addition to the Facebook extra mentioned above, the game also allows players to create their own puzzles using any combination of the blocks from the game. Unfortunately, these puzzles can’t be shared with friends, but you can create something to challenge them when they visit. One more extra, bonus puzzles exist in the puzzle workshop, but these ones differ from the rest of the game. In these, you’re given a specific task such as destroying a particular color of blocks, with on specific piece. What makes this difficult is the inclusion of numerous other blocks that you’re not allowed to destroy, and the puzzle is set up like a maze.

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Rotor’scope retails for 400 :MSPoints: and while some of you may consider it high, this game has a really great amount of content for that price. Wonderful music, intriguing story, comical characters, and easily 6-10 hours of puzzle-solving unless you’re a mastermind – that’s much more than some of the Live Arcade titles offer. Do yourself a big favor, head over to the Marketplace and grab the trial. If you’re a fan of the genre, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Review by Bryan Tremblay


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