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July 18, 2011
Puzzle Dimension - PS3 Review
Release Launch Price Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
28/6/2011$AU15.95Doctor EntertainmentDoctor Entertainment1None
Media HDD Space Resolution Move Controls Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Puzzle Dimension is a mind-bending puzzle game.
Sitting at my computer a few weeks ago I was surprised to see a PSN download code for a game called Puzzle Dimension turn up in my E-Mail Inbox. Not only was I not expecting to review the game, I hadn't even heard of it. Indeed that's one of our issues with games on the Playstation Store, too often these games aren't given enough promotion prior to release. Still, we weren't going to turn down the opportunity to review this, to us, unknown title.

Puzzle Dimension has no storyline to follow. After hitting the menu it's straight into the puzzle without any explanation of what's going on. It's nice to have simple games sometimes.

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Visually the game is rather simplistic.
In its premise this isn't an overly complicated game. Your task is simply to roll, or jump, the ball around the levels in order to collect the flowers and reach the end goal. Sounds simple right? Well it would be except the levels are often full of twists and turns and more importantly plenty of varied surfaces to encounter. From standard tiles, to ones that break away, to ice covered ones which you can't stop on, sandpits which you must jump out of rather then roll, invisible tiles, heaters that will burn if placed on more than once and much more.

While the games 100 levels may not sound like a lot it will take a considerable amount of time to complete these levels successfully. Split up into ten groups of ten levels the difficulty gets progressively harder and by the half way mark you will certainly need to use your noodle to progress. Fortunately the progression system is pretty fair so if you get stuck on a level you can move onto the next in that group, or if you have collected enough flowers, even the next group.

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Puzzle Dimension supports 3DTV's.
There isn't too much to complain about in this game. At times we were trying to rotate and move at the same time, which saw us moving in the wrong direction. This is a little annoying as some of the scoring is based on your speed. Which leads us to the next issues - we're not quite sure how the scoring all works exactly. It would have been nice to have a little more detail in the help files in the game.

Looking beyond what is actually included in this game it would have been fantastic to see the developers push in some form of level creation tools for gamers to create, and share puzzle levels. Sure, that would have been quite a development effort, and even more so to create a server to hold these levels, but it would have added considerable value. Another possible addition would be a multiplayer mode, if not to complete the puzzles together then to perhaps have some kind of race to complete the levels. Leaderboards should have been included.

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The rather plain menu.
It's fair to say that Puzzle Dimension isn't really taxing the PS3 graphically however the game does include support for 3DTV's and does run at FullHD resolution (1920 x 1080p). Despite only having a couple of backgrounds there really isn't too much happening here, the ball and worlds move and rotate around smoothly enough, although there is the occasional stutter, and the tiles are clearly defined. Not much else really to say here actually... if you've seen the surrounding screenshots you'll have a good idea of what to expect.

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Note the many types of blocks!
Admittedly I can understand that this is a budget game made by a handful of people but the music here is pretty atrocious with something that sounds like a 1990's MIDI composition. It's low quality, poorly composed, repetitive, and really brings the rest of the game down sadly. Worse still, at times the music pauses for a fraction of a second and to add insult to injury you can't even play your own music through the XMB. At least the effects are adequate - just.

Now before you rip into me and say "but the music is to reproduce the 8-bit era" that may be true, but if that was the intention I'm not a fan of it. Why not use modern music in the game?

Despite the poor audio this is still quite an enjoyable puzzle game with plenty of mind bending puzzles to keep you going. For the low price of $AU15.95 this is well worth a purchase if you like puzzle games.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSNice, clean 1080p visuals with 3D support. It is what it is.
SOUNDTerrible music really is the biggest disappointment in this entire game.
GAMEPLAYIt's a puzzle game, fairly unique, and quite engrossing.
VALUEThere are plenty of puzzles here and for $15.95 it's great value. A puzzle creator or multiplayer "race" could have added value.
OVERALLPuzzle Dimension is a very solid puzzle game that will offer a challenge and some longevity. There are some negatives, but for the price it's worth checking out.

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