Puzzle Retreat is a puzzle game that looks set to fall squarely into the time-honored “easy to play, hard to master” category

Puzzle Retreat is simple: Just slide the blocks into the holes. All it takes is a gentle push with your finger on one of the blocks that lie just outside the borders of the oddly-shaped game boards to get them moving, and all you have to do is ensure that you use all the blocks, and fill all the holes.

Puzzle Retreat

But Puzzle Retreat is difficult, too. It starts off easily enough but as seen in the gameplay preview video on YouTube, it doesn’t take long before the challenge ramps up. Sometimes you’ll push individual blocks, and sometimes you’ll start piles of blocks moving and dropping into holes sequentially. Ice blocks can slide over one another to fill more distant holes, or be melted to make room for other blocks. There is, of course, an undo function, and you can expect to make use of it frequently.

The Voxel Agents, the studio behind the game, say Puzzle Retreat was inspired by Sokoba—which is easy enough to see—and Sudoku, whose influence is a little less obvious. Regardless of the influence, the game looks like it could be very good, with colorful visuals and a clean, simple interface. It’s also an entrant in the 2013 Independent Games Festival, which takes place this March.

Puzzle Retreat

There’s not a whole lot more to see at this point, but the handful of screens available on the Puzzle Retreat Facebook page suggest that the game will see “frequent updates,” including level packs with even more puzzles to solve. Look for it to come out later this year.