The basic concept of MiniTURN isn’t all that unique for a puzzle game. You’re trapped in a room and you need to first find the key and then the exit before you can move on. But in this game you don’t just control your character, but also the room itself, rotating it to avoid obstacles and shift objects around. It’s a clever concept that makes for an interesting game initially, though unfortunately MiniTURN loses its luster fairly quickly.
The game consists of three worlds, each of which features nine stages. Each of these stages is divided into a series of interconnected rooms and you’ll have to move through each of these rooms one at a time in order to beat the stage. Each room consists of not only a door and a matching key, but also numerous obstacles that stand in your way. There are enemies who will attack you if you get too close and blocks and boulders that will crush you (and your enemies) if they land on top of you. The goal is to collect the key and make your way to the exit while avoiding enemy attacks and falling blocks.
To do this you’ll have to rotate the entire room around constantly, shifting items around so that you can make your exit. Your character can’t jump or climb, so it’s up to your rotation skills to help him traverse the room. Each room is set up in such a way that you’ll actually have to think about how you shift the world around, otherwise you’ll end up constantly going in circles (literally) or squashed underneath a wayward boulder. The challenge varies quite a bit from one room to the next, as some stages can be beaten in one quick go, while others will take numerous tries before you can figure out just how to solve them. The main problem is that the game doesn’t really introduce much in the way of new gameplay concepts as you progress, so even though the core mechanic is compelling, it ends up getting a bit repetitive.
MiniTURN is also short. The three worlds in the game won’t take all that long to play, though the game does offer some incentive to go back and re-play levels. As you play you’re timed and each rotation you make is recorded. So, if you’re up for an extra challenge, there’s the option to go back and play levels again with the goal of beating them as quickly as possible and using as few moves as possible.
Ultimately MiniTURN is a really great concept that falls flat in execution. It’s short and repetitive and really doesn’t provide much in the way of a challenge. It’s also strange that the game is controlled entirely via on-screen buttons, instead of also using tilt controls, which seem like an obvious and much more intuitive choice. For a its $1 asking price, MiniTURN is good for a few quick and fun bursts of gameplay, but those in search of a deeper puzzle experience should look elsewhere.