Interlocked

 

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/563158

Interlocked is a puzzle game about removing interlocking puzzle pieces from an already built object.  The minute I ran across it over at GameSetWatch I had a sneaky suspicion I would like it because the game actually reminded me of a real wood block puzzle my mother showed to me when I was a child.  It was a perfectly round sphere made of wood puzzle pieces that were interlocking.  Your task was to put it together.  The key to putting it together was figuratively the same thing, two of the pieces formed a key that was inserted last.  This was also the “key” to taking it apart.  I think this is what it looked like…

http://stores.brilliantpuzzles.com/-strse-430/Sphere-3D-Wooden-Puzzle/Detail.bok

In this digital version of the same puzzle, the task (or puzzle game element) is to take them apart.  Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s frustrating as hell.  The control scheme is similar to that of a 3D editor for geometry, as you use the mouse to just look at the object by clicking and dragging around.  The way in which you interact with the object is by holding down the space bar, placing your cursor over the shape in question and clicking the mouse button again.  A little 3D widget appears and allows you to pick an axis to “constrain” or pull on.  The controls are as elegant as they could be for such a rudimentary and simple game, so I don’t have an issue with the interface design.  It’s actually quite slick.  I think the real problem revolves around the lack of a good tactile feedback system.

The Mouse and keyboard leave a bit of a bitter taste in your mouth about 4 or 5 puzzles in because you have no good way of feeling the loose ends of the puzzle (read: the player doesn’t understand why their tactic isn’t working and cannot “feel” their way through the solution).  I’ve seen many a haptic feedback system and all kinds of systems that incorporate gloves so those would be a good match for this.  Combine this with some Nintendo 3DS action and you have yourself a dandy little puzzle game!

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