While Australian developer Kumobius is best known for their fast-paced arcade experiences like bouncy platformer Bean Dreams, gorgeous ball ballet Duet, and auto-running endless climber High Risers, their newest release this week embraces a slower playstyle. Piece Out is a laid-back puzzler with no timers and an unlimited amount of undos which requires creative and attentive puzzle-solving.
It’s a combination of sliding block mazes and Tetris: the goal is to move a specific block—which may be a single square or any variety of other shapes—to its matching shadow by sliding and rotating the pieces standing in its way. Each piece can only be interacted with as displayed on its body. So, a block with arrows pointing left and right can be slid in those directions but cannot be rotated or moved up or down. Rotatable blocks can swing through other pieces but must land in an open space, meaning an L-block needs room for its long base and right angle.
The ability to rotate certain pieces and the restrictions on movement for others adds a really interesting twist to the genre. While in many sliding block puzzles it feels like you’re making extremely incremental progress as you inch blocks around the board, adjustments in Piece Out can often cause significant changes in a single motion. Rotating a T-block just once drastically changes the current arrangement, while at the same time the fact that you can only rotate in one direction means you can trap yourself unintentionally.
The addition of new movement options as you unlock new levels—like blocks that become mirrored when tapped or which are tied to pieces that aren’t physically connected—introduces even more complexity and unique interactions. Thankfully, those aforementioned unlimited undos, as well as an optional ad-based hint system which walks you step-by-step through the movements necessary to complete a level, are always available if you find yourself stuck.
Piece Out launched with a staggering 700+ levels and offers an additional puzzle daily, as well as achievements and leaderboards for both types of challenges. We’ve been really enjoying its twist on sliding block puzzles and are definitely looking forward to any other slower-paced offerings Kumobius creates in the future.