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Perfection Isn't, But Still A Quiet, Calming Puzzler

Well, no it quite clearly isn't.

Perfection is a silly name to give a game. It’s asking for trouble. It’s also an extremely odd choice for this peculiar-yet-enticing puzzle game, since it absolutely does not require anything close. Instead this is about chopping up odd geometric shapes to approximate a target shape. It should have been called Approximate. And then it would have avoided all this complaining.

It’s in an odd state, is Perfection. The concept is extremely simple – you start with one shape, and with a minimal number of straight-line slices, you want to hack it to match another. The frame of the target floats awkwardly, so you can’t just use it as a template, and away you go. This is presented with a pleasingly calming design, soft focus, pastels, plinky-plonky music, and everything’s in place for a nice puzzler. Except any sort of structure.

There are three types of puzzle. It begins with the very simple where you simply chop the stationary shape to match. Then you can add rotation, to add a welcome layer of complexity. And then there’s zooming too, so you have to shrink or grow the shape as well as everything else. Which are all splendid, exactly as it should be. If only there were any notion of progress, levels, goals, or direction.

Instead it just starts to suggest you might want to try another type with its esoteric floating indicators, chosen from a menu containing absolutely unexplained hieroglyphics. One button appears to change the puzzle you’re playing, but for why? To what? Why would you want to press it? And where is it all going?

Sadly the obvious structure of a series of increasingly difficult challenges is completely absent, meaning you get stuck in an endless parade of near-identical challenges, going back and forth in difficulty seemingly at random. And that’s because they’re randomly generated. Which in so many ways is a good thing, except when it starts taking things away. I would love to see a significant update here – where creator Greg Lobanov (whose company is called Dumb And Fat, creator of 2012’s Phantasmaburbia) lets it generate all manner of puzzles and then picks out a bunch of ascending challenges. Randomly generated should always be an option in there, but a plotted path through which you could progress would make this a far more satisfying thing. As it is, all too quickly you realise the futility of your slicing, knowing it’s an infinite pool and you’re getting absolutely nowhere.

This is all getting a bit philosophical, and for £2 it’s extremely well priced. And I certainly enjoyed sinking a good while into hacking and slashing those shapes. But then the chasm became too apparent, and the realisation that it wasn’t going to get any harder than it currently is meant I lost interest. I want that interest to be maintained, so I’d love to see some structure added in. Let alone the mad name.

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John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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