Equilateral Thinking: The Triangular Trials Of Volvox

Volvox [official site] is a neat little pastel-shaded puzzle game about guiding triangles across a triangular grid. Let me assure you: it sounds a lot more straightforward when typed out like that than what plays out in practice. The triangles you maneuver, you see, are loaded with functional properties tacked onto certain sides that must be aligned with corresponding goals. Does that sound more complicated? Good, because that’s the reality. It’s often great, yet often: AAARRGGHHH!

But only for as long as you Don’t Get It. This will be plentiful, granted, but when you do it’s a delight and the game’sart style is a joy to stare at as you get baffled again and again and again. Well, that’s if you’re anything like me. Utilising the aforementioned functions is an essential part of success: you’ll use glue to build, explosives to dig and hooks to climb, but these features only work if the shapes are correctly rotated. Which, again, is easier said than done. Here’s a trailer:

There’s a backstory too! The triangles – Trimoebas as they’re known – are excited and are preparing themselves for a long-awaited event, so we’re told. Some time ago, six Trimoebas fused together to create a powerful creature who’s just now come to life. “Hail to you sisters, finally we awoke,” she tells her triangular siblings. “In our sleep, we saw the future: the time for feeding and endlessly replicating now lies behind us, let us now work together to accomplish greatness!”

“Greatness” is achieved by virtue of cracking the challenges which befall Volvox’s 250 levels, allowing for around 60 hours of game time, according to the developers. I can believe this, as one level in particular – part of the tutorial, I may add – had me stumped for the best part of fifteen minutes (ahem, forty-five) as I wrestled the equilaterals into alignment.

I get the feeling attempting to explain said trials and tribulations would only serve to confuse both you and I, as Volvox is very much a game that makes most sense in motion. If you fancy giving it a bash it’s on Steam for £5.59. An in-browser demo of an older version is over here, though be aware developers Neotenia label it “obsolete”.

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