Critical Play: Puzzles

For my critical play this week, I chose to play Sugar Game, a mobile puzzle game. The game was created by developer Bart Bronte who has created several other puzzle games. The game is available on Google Play and the App Store. I downloaded the game and played it on my iPhone.

The object of the game is to fill up all of the cups on each level with sugar. You do this by drawing lines that along with gravity, control the path of the falling sugar. After completing each level, the player moves on to the next one. As you progress through the game, you are introduced to various mechanics including changing the direction of gravity and various colors of sugar that must go in specifically colored cups. You are not given any instruction as to how the new mechanics work, but the level design makes it pretty intuitive and mechanics are introduced in the most basic way possible. For example, on level 11 you are introduced to different colors of sugar that go in specific cups as shown:


The target audience of the game is fans of the puzzle genre, with additional appeal for mobile gamers who are looking for a simplistic and casual puzzle game that can be played a few levels at a time. I could see myself playing a few levels of the game on my phone to kill a few minutes.

The game is single player and played offline. The controls are very simple; simply draw lines to control the sugar on each level. The rules and procedures of the game are never explicitly stated, but the game does a great job of making these fairly intuitive.

The main types of fun in the game in my opinion are challenge and sensation. The game presents a challenge with each level requiring understanding of the mechanics and a conceptual plan to fill up all of the cups with sugar. Having a plan to complete the level is quite important, especially in levels where there is a limited amount of sugar.

The game is quite visually appealing with its simplicity and fun color scheme. The game provides sensation in how fun and satisfying it is to watch the sugar fall into the cups. In these ways, the mechanics of the game really shape the experience of the game in how much of a challenge it provides as well as how satisfying the game is to play.

One thing I did not like about the game is that the sugar starts falling a few seconds after starting a level. It would be nice to have a warning that the sugar was about to start falling, or maybe just more time to plan how to complete the level.

Overall, I found the game to be quite fun and see great potential for it as a time killer. I would recommend the game to anyone looking for a satisfying mobile puzzle game.

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