Puzzle retreat is a very simple game based around physics and careful planning. When players first open Puzzle retreat, they’re greeted by the main menu. It’s strongly recommended that players start with the “Welcome” level pack, as it is the easiest and it helps prepare players for the various gameplay mechanics.
When players enter a level, they are introduced to the core of the game: Ice blocks. When a user taps and drags an ice block in a given direction, it will drop ice into any empty space it touches. The kicker is that an ice block will only fill as many holes as there are dots on the block, no more or less. This means if there’s only one empty space to the left of a two-dot ice block, players can’t push that direction.
The goal of every stage is to use all of the ice blocks to fill the empty holes. Early levels simply require pushing the right blocks in the right directions. Later, the stages start to adopt new blocks and mechanics that quickly add to the challenge. The most important mechanic in the game is sliding. After an ice block fills a hole, another block can slide over it until it reaches another hole. There are other drastic mechanics, as well. Arrow spaces will change the direction of any block that runs over it, stoppers flow like ice but create a wall, and fire blocks work like stoppers, but melt any ice they touch.
Puzzle retreat is hard. Its difficulty and short levels also makes it great for playing in short bursts.
Puzzle Retreat’s only form of monetization is from level packs. The welcome pack is free, and the “morning” pack is currently free, as well. There are currently six other packs available for 99 cents each. Each pack contains 36 puzzles, and combined with the 24 welcome puzzles, brings the total level count out to 276. The first two sets will be more than enough to keep players entertained for quite a while, and less than a dollar for each additional pack will certainly keep players going for a long time.
Puzzle retreat is a good game, but it’s very much on the hard side. Puzzle game fans will likely be up for the challenge, but players who want more of a casual experience are more likely to be overwhelmed. The low price for new level packs makes it a no-brainer for puzzle fans.
An incredibly challenging, yet rewarding, puzzle experience that’s perfect for mobile platforms.