Aqueducts – Elegantly Challenging and Calming

Aqueducts is simple, elegant and calming. Presented with nothing more than an Aqueduct with broken pieces, the player rotates and swivels pieces of the Aqueduct to make it flow from the start of the level to the end. Pieces are either straight or form a quarter of a circle. Those pieces then swivel on a 90 degree axis, allowing each piece maneuverability.

That’s basically the entire game. It seems very simple and obvious at the start, but the complexity lies in trying to solve it in under a certain number of moves. You only get so much time to actually swap the pieces and fix the Aqueduct, so it’s easy to run out of moves before solving it.

To keep it fresh, Aqueducts changes the pacing and goal of the game by adding additional sources of water, meaning you need to sync the water sources together and path them alongside one another to reach the objective. On these missions, you find yourself not with a counter for how many movements you’ve made, but an actual timer reflecting how much water has been wasted.

While the timer is a nice change of pace and makes the gameplay feel new and invigorating, one can’t help but wonder about the untold hundreds that must have died from a poorly built Aqueduct, it’s thousands of gallons of water washing over their fields and homes and killing everyone.

Those kinds of questions are quick to leave you however, as you become further engrossed in the detail of Aqueducts.[sc name=”quote” text=”Those kinds of questions are quick to leave you however, as you become further engrossed in the detail of Aqueducts.”]

As the levels progress, the difficulty obviously needs to be ramp up, but how does a game increase difficulty with a linear puzzle? Aqueducts solves this by adding multiple paths and options to fix the Aqueduct. Alongside this, the correct paths get progressively less obvious. You will find yourself making a dozen different patterns with your Aqueduct, only to realize the incredible obviousness of the solution right in front of you.

This kind of realisation is often irritating and frustrating in other games. In Aqueducts, it’s refreshing and funny. Now you know, so in future levels, you’ll be prepared to look for the obvious.

Aqueducts manages to intertwine the experience of relaxation with actual mental challenge, meaning no matter where you’re playing the game, you can be both mentally stimulated, yet also serenely calm.

The musical score, reminiscent of some kind of Hindu temple, with gentle twanging tones, puts the player at ease. There are no problems in this world, nothing ultimately wrong. You just need to fix some Aqueducts and chill out.[sc name=”quote” text=”There are no problems in this world, nothing ultimately wrong. You just need to fix some Aqueducts and chill out.”]

A puzzle game that manages to combine the feeling of complete serenity and also make you use your brain is a game that’s managed to truly understand what mobile gamers are asking for.

Give us intelligent puzzles with a calm atmosphere and we’ll be happy.

Thankfully, we don’t need to look far; Aqueducts has us covered.

[appbox googleplay ua.krou.aqueducts]

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