TorqueL – Physics Modified Edition Review – Switch
+ Approachable, simple, but quickly challenging puzzle game.
- Though simple, the controls can be frustratingly awkward at times.
When you first look at TorqueL it looks like something you might have played on a Flash gaming website in the mid 2000’s. The graphics are probably the least impressive part of the game. But, where the game shines, if you can get past its lackluster graphics, is in the deceptively simple design of the puzzles and the system that is in place that enables you to solve them.
Great puzzle games will take a simple idea and iterate upon it, forcing you to use a basic set of tools provided in order to overcome increasingly complex and daunting sets of obstacles. TorqueL does the same. Your avatar is a cube with a couple of little stick figures inside, seemingly imbued with the uncanny ability to rotate said cube with ease. Also, said cube has the ability to project beams of force out of each of its four sides at the press of a button. Extending one (or more) of them will allow you to push, pole vault, roll like a giant spider ball, or jump across pits, lava, walls, gravity altering fields, and more.
On the Nintendo Switch version of the game, which is identified as the “Physics Modified Edition”, the “physics” part of the game definitely feels right. Having not played the game on other platforms un- “modified” by physics, I can’t say how much different the game plays over other versions, but I can say that the cube that you are navigating through the various chambers feels like it behaves as it should, if it were a real, physical object, which I’m assuming, was the goal.
The use of the Switch joycon rumble features was a nice touch with the game. There are varying yet subtle differences in the vibration profiles that you feel as you use the various beams to navigate the chambers.
And, to cover the auditory sense, I will say that the sound effects, though simple, only act to enhance the experience of the game. There are plenty of audio clues to help you identify when your cube is behaving in certain ways. Also, the music in the game is enjoyable and fits with the minimalistic style of the overall game.
When it comes down to it, there isn’t much more to TorqueL than meets the eye, but what it does, it does well. I enjoyed figuring my way through the various puzzles and felt like the way the cube behaved was very realistic and as expected. The game is simple, but solving the puzzles is satisfying and enjoyable. Each chamber is small enough that a failure that sets you back to the beginning isn’t soul-crushing. What you get is a very tightly crafted, enjoyable, easy-to-get-into but hard-to-master puzzle game that will keep pushing you a little more each progressive chamber, introducing more and more complexity as you go.