There’s nothing like a relaxing puzzle game to take a break from the stresses of more action-based and intense games… but if you’re looking for that sort of experience Kombinera likely isn’t going to make you happy since it generally works in the opposite direction. Yes, it’s a relatively simple game in terms of the control mechanics and premise, trying to combine your little balls together after navigating them through some platforming and avoiding traps and threats. Adding in that combining some balls will impart critical things like invulnerability to some threats and there are times when you need to step back and take a moment to really work out the flow of events necessary for success. The thing is, very quickly you’ll find there’s definitely a mean streak to the level designs, especially if you’re tempted to go for the stretch goal pieces on the screens, providing you with an all-or-nothing challenge since any mistake will start the admittedly pretty short stages over again, at least minimizing the pain of failure. I will say that to me the controls can be a bit twitchy and the proximity of peril to your path to victory then a bit too narrow, sometimes swinging a bit too far in the direction of being unfair for cruelty’s sake, especially for the stretch challenges. Certainly what degree of stress and challenge you’re looking for will drive whether this sounds like a hit for you. This title illustrates the fact that overall simplicity in design doesn’t diminish to make for a teeth-gnashing tough time.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [8.3]