At the risk of sounding creepy, I have to confess that I love the feeling of very sharp scissors slicing through paper, with a sheering sound and tactility of slight resistance. The best is with a thin glossy paper like gift-wrap, when the scissors are sharp enough to push through the paper without even having to engage the blades in motion.
Super Sharp from 1Button combines the simple appeal of a strong, decisive snip with idiosyncratic cause-and-effect to create a clean, powerful gameplay experience. The game will appeal to anyone with an affinity for slicing and dicing, while challenging puzzle fans to master complicated physics with the precision of a razor’s edge.
Each puzzle includes a small target which must be hit within a certain number of slices (most often one or two) to be considered successful. Hitting the target is a result of cutting through pieces of the environment, and then directing those pieces by utilizing gravity, inertia, centrifugal force, air resistance, buoyancy, floating, and many more cleverly crafted physical effects.
Some puzzles feature multiple targets with varying colors that must be matched up to count as a successful hit. Other puzzles include immovable, impenetrable obstacles that must be carefully negotiated in order to make progress. Some more complicated puzzles require triggering a cause-and-effect waterfall while multiple components are in motion.
The slicing mechanic is slightly reminiscent of Cut The Rope, but the importance of structural mass as opposed to lines is distinctly different. Spatial thinking, precise timing and patient pacing are all part of the experience. The game’s simple geometries and minimalist aesthetics are inversely matched by the unexpected complexity of curious physics.
And that is what charmed me most about the game; the genuine sense of curiosity I had with each new puzzle. When entering a new scenario, I had to learn the unique physical mechanics and effects. With no penalty system and unlimited lives, I could test everything out and slice through squares a dozen times to see what effects I could have on the environment. Eventually I had to finish levels in the requisite number of slices in order to open up the subsequent world, but the process of learning how to do that was delightful. The openness of the level progression made short sessions satisfying while keeping long play sessions interesting.
On some particularly difficult puzzles where I was inevitably failing anyway, I would enact dozens of slices just to see the shards piling up and dropping off of platforms in a completely satisfying way. I was extremely impressed that the most basic functionality of the game was entertaining (and slightly addictive) all on its own. It was particularly fun to try to achieve unintended results such as catapulting balls or ricocheting shards. This made the necessary trial-and-error exciting rather than tedious.
Super Sharp is the perfect name for this gem, precisely because it is so clever. The physics are creative, appealing, responsive, and ingenious. It is truly amazing what can be done- what can be caused- with one or two swipes across a screen. It’s difficult to appeal to both perfectionist tendencies and chaotic ones, but somehow, Super Sharp does that. Everything about this game is precise while still maintaining a unique sense of surprise. If you’re looking for the perfect slice, Super Sharp will surely satisfy you.