The creativity that naturally comes with puzzles lends itself incredibly well to mobile platforms, but high-quality experiences can be hard to find in such a crowded genre. By a miracle I recently stumbled upon Scalak and I have not had that much fun with a pure puzzle since I Love Hue.
Not only will Scalak soon find itself on our list of best puzzles, but it also deserves to be among the best Android games. Period. So sit back, relax and take a few minutes out of your day to learn about a hidden gem that you simply must Game.
A 3D logic game, Scalak initially presents the player with flat squares that are missing a few bits. The goal in each of the early levels is to place all the missing pieces back in their proper places on their planes or dimensional shapes by rotating the surfaces on which they are to walk, much like a 3D puzzle.
The pieces themselves can not be moved, only the “board”, so the trick is to figure out how to rotate your playing field so that each piece can go where it needs to, while also aligning with other connecting pieces.
An extra layer of intrigue comes from the fact that you can not see all the pieces of the puzzle all the time. Sometimes hidden sections need to be revealed by thoroughly exploring your available space. And make no mistake, you can actually fail a puzzle. There are some circumstances where you can place a piece in the wrong place, which then can not be moved, thereby locking you out of the solution.
Fortunately, each level has a simple reset button and you can just try and try again as many times as you need. Scalak wants you in a peaceful, zen-like state of mind while playing, so there are no timers or penalties to be found here.
What starts as a simple task of placing circles and triangles on flat walls is evolving into increasingly complex and interesting formats. You upgrade to one cube, to multiple dice stacked in towers, to planes with electrical nodes, to pipes, and so on and so forth until you have finally completed them all.
It’s a very simple game, but it expertly performs its core concept. The finishing touch is the vibrant color schemes, relaxing, ethereal background music and wonderfully tactile sound effects that accompany every piece that clicks into place and every rotation of your puzzle. It almost feels like little gears and springs connected in an old grandfather’s watch.
There’s almost nothing bad you can say about Scalak, as its almost perfect 4.8 rating in the Google Play Store suggests, except that it ends. There are 90 levels to master in this unique 3D puzzle game and I would happily pay more for DLC if there were any to get.
This premium game has been made even better by its lack of ads or in-app purchases. Scalak is free for Play Pass subscribers or only $ 0.99 for non-subscribers. If games like Railways are your jam, you’ll love this one.
I play it on purpose as slowly as I can to prolong the experience as long as possible. For just a dollar, this anti-stress minimalist masterpiece is one of the best puzzles you can find in the Play Store, and I can not recommend it enough.