Puzzle games come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are bright and breezy, while others are dark and sombre. Some are easy peasy, while others physically elevate the temperature of your brain as you struggle to make the necessary calculations.
Be in no doubt: Squirgle belongs to the latter camp. This cerebral puzzler from developer Planar Gazer (even the studio name is brainy!) sees you constructing shapes using other shapes.
The simplest way to look at it is this: each shape represents the number of vertices it has. Vertices is just a fancier (and more accurate) way of saying corners. So, a dot has one vertex, a line has two, a triangle has three, and… well, you can take it from here.
If the game asks you for a hexagon, you need to find a line and a square, or a dot and a pentagon, or whatever other combination you can make that produces the same total.
The difficulty levels sort of correspond to bases. Not military bases, but mathematical ones. In base-4, there are dots, lines, triangles, and squares. In base-5 there are all of those shapes plus pentagons. And so on.
You may now be thinking that Squirgle sounds fairly straightforward. It isn’t. There’s a ton of modes, and they all take this central premise and run with it in mind-boggling directions.
The main Squirgle modes sees you creating shapes against the clock, with a colour-matching mechanic thrown in alongside the arithmetic. You make shapes in pairs, and if you manage to produce two of the same colour in the same pair you are prompted to make a Squirgle. Once you accept this prompt the clock resets.
Then there’s a Battle mode, where you take on the AI or a friend over local multiplayer; a Time Attack mode, where you have to compile as many shapes as possible within a time limit, like in Squirgle mode, but without the colours.
Time Battle is like Time Attack combined with Battle, in that you’re playing against the clock and an opponent simultaneously.
Finally, there’s Trance, which isn’t strictly speaking a gameplay mode. Instead it takes the trippy sequence at the end of each stage in which you barrel forwards through a series of shapes while listening to the game’s original score and lets you experience it for as long as you like.