By Craig Pearson on August 15th, 2012 at 9:00 am.
The best thing about Force: Leashed’s cheeky name, a riff on the mediocre Star Wars ‘Unleashed’ series, is that the game is y) better than the Star Wars game, and z) has nothing to do with Midi-chlorians or Keira Knightly cosplaying as Natalie Portman. It’s more fun and not tainted: a free, first-person puzzle game where you bend rockets using gravitational dongles.
Like the 2D Flash puzzlers of ye olde tymes, Kepuli Games’ Force: Leashed you use gravity to slingshot projectiles into targets. The rockets are fairly benign, only exploding when they hit their assigned targets, so you’re afforded a lot of leeway when deciding over the placement of the mass sucking gravity dongles. You experiment, trying to figure out the tug that the dongles exert. Some rockets get trapped orbiting the things, others zoom off: you need to figure out the happy medium and then do it again and again and again, curving your like of rockets around the arena like a flock of subservient birds.
Complicating things further are colour-coordinated rockets and dongles: a blue rocket will only be attracted to a blue dongle, same with the reds. You’ll need to figure out how to send one colour bouncing a hue changing wall, dealing with both the ricochet and the change in colour.
It’s one of those ‘make do’ puzzlers, where the solution feels like a jury-rigged mess, a crime against gravity and game design. In short, it’s fun for those that just want to see the effect of they can have on the world. I’ve seen rockets deflect backwards after an oddly positioned dongle send them brushing past a coloured wall and back into the dongles range, forever curving in the opposite direction I’d hoped. It made me happy that I could, and I expect it’ll do the same for you.