Thursday, June 20

Review: Perchang [Nintendo Switch eShop]


In the puzzle space given the number of options on the Switch it takes some effort to come up with something novel and engaging. How about a game where you mix of simple machinery, a steady drip of balls you’re trying to help get to their destination, and a variety of contraptions you’ll need to master to do so? Perchang manages to cobble these together and be original, engaging, and challenging both to your sense of planning and careful execution.


Starting out by roughly introducing you to an element at a time you’ll master control of tilting platforms, fans, and a few other mechanisms. Whether perfecting your timing to flick a ball at just the right angle or feathering your fan to keep your balls aloft but not shot off the screen its the fundamentals tied to each thing you control that establish your foundation. Once you have that the game will then place different combinations of those elements before you with the goal of ensuring balls will move from Point A to Point B with your help.


The first challenge is understanding how you’ll use the tools you’ve been given. Early on it tends to be pretty straightforward but as you progress you’ll find that there can be a variety of ways to get through the challenge, though sometimes only after having banged your head against a wall with a harder way first. Once you’ve got your plan you’ll then need to work on making it work. The limited controls, allowing you to assign each element a color (red or blue) that corresponds to one of your two means of interaction are often the first obstacle as you’ll often need to toggle more than one mechanism with the same trigger. The second is just then finding the sweet spot for timing and concentrate on execution as you get each ball through the gauntlet the best you can.


While Perchang isn’t terribly long I’d say it manages to deliver a unique experience that puzzle fans should really appreciate. There are times when it feels like the difficulty is a bit all over the place with spikes and then valleys as you work through everything but different people may struggle with some challenges more than others. Though Perchang may be relatively simple at its core the execution, variety, and overall creativity it demonstrates help it to stand out even in the crowded puzzle genre on the system.

Score: 8.5

Pros:
  • The controls are simple but demand your attention for proper execution
  • Each new level offers up a new challenge to plan out your path to success and then execute it

Cons:
  • The difficulty from level to level can be a bit all over the place
  • If you’re unable to master some fundamentals like feathering the throttle on a fan you may be in for quite a bit of frustration as these skills are essential to success