One small step from point A to point B
Flux is the kind of puzzle game you can play during a quick coffee break, or sit down for a marathon session. It’s simple to learn and easy to play, but getting to the point of mastery means learning to think ten steps ahead. This works in Flux‘s favor, however, as the game doesn’t bother with power-ups or mini-games to distract you from the puzzles at hand.
The overall goal of Flux is to create an uninterrupted flow from the source tile (purple and marked with an arrow) to the sink tile (purple and marked with a circle). To accomplish this, all you need to do is swipe green tiles to change the direction they’re pointing, 90 degrees at a time. Tiles that enter the flow turn from orange to green, while immovable tiles stay blue, and tiles outside of the flow orange. You can only change green tiles and the source tile, which limits how many moves ahead you can work. It’s essentially a simplified version of Pipe Mania, but all you have to worry about is which direction each tile is pointing.
Flux comes with ten level packs that are unlocked successively by collecting a certain number of stars. Getting a perfect star score is an exercise in extreme precision, as you quickly lose stars by using more moves than the level allows. After you play through the initial ten packs you’ll find yourself staring at an additional 375 puzzles waiting to be unleashed. Even with a perfect score on the previous stages you’ll need to dip into Flux‘s in-app purchase system to nab extra stars. You can also get ten stars for free by sharing the game on Facebook, which isn’t too bad.
If you sit and look at the math for unlocking all of the game’s levels, you’ll realize that at a minimum you have to purchase 20 stars to gain access to everything. That assumes you play a perfect game, raking in three stars on every single puzzle you complete, which is no small task. It starts to feel like an unreasonably nitpicky IAP model, but in practice it isn’t as zealous as it might seem. It would be great to have a single “unlock everything” button so you didn’t have to worry about counting stars or conserving your purchases.
Flux doesn’t skimp on style. The game is minimalistic in every way, but the stark colors and modern UI look fantastic. The soundtrack is clean and snappy as well. The gameplay feels a bit dry and repetitive after a few dozen levels, as the main formula doesn’t change very much over the course of the game. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, as Flux sets out to do one task, and does it extraordinarily well!