Interlocked

Interlocked

Try as you might, you are highly unlikely to find a genre of games that is as much of an all-round brain workout as the puzzle genre. Titles in the puzzle genre vary immensely in their style and format, from simple word association games and logo identification through to games that utilise the laws of physics and a series of levels that challenge you to use the in-game laws to complete a certain task like to build a tower.

Also to destroy a tower whilst conforming to specified criteria, or to traverse environments by using objects around you. Interlocked is a different sort of physics game, existing in its own little niche that can be described as the 'logical deconstruction puzzler' genre. The game involves pulling apart a variety of different three-dimensional structures piece by piece, judging which pieces need to be removed and which ones are dependent on the removal of others before they can be touched. This is a puzzle game with an original approach and it pays off in terms of entertainment.

The game is structured into levels of increasing difficulty, with each stage giving you a three-dimensional shape comprised of smaller, interlocking pieces that are irregular in shape. The aim is to pull each of the shapes out from the main one, separating them and making them disappear in the process.

Interlocked

You use the cursor to control everything in this challenging mind game, with two settings that must be used in conjunction with each other to properly deconstruct the shape. Firstly, you use the glance tool to rotate the shape by dragging it in whichever direction you please; this way you can get a good look at the shape and see which components you need to remove in which order.

Clicking on the cursor changer in the left-hand corner then allows you to use the pull tool, which lets you click and drag each shape in a number of directions specified by the arrows that appear on the screen. It is very simple in format but extremely difficult in practice.

The most enjoyable part of Interlocked is the increasing difficulty with each level, with the shaped becoming more complex and intertwined with each stage that you complete. You must observe the different sections of each complete shape, and will often have to move each of the component parts incrementally before you can even begin to fully remove the shapes and make them disappear.

The graphics of Interlocked aren't particularly flashy but they are still professional in spite of the plainness of the textures and fairly anticlimactic way in which the shapes disappear after you remove them. This isn't a thrill-a-minute masterpiece by any means, but it feels like it could be a craze on par with Sudoku. The game can get a bit fiddly, but the difficulty is challenging and this is the way it is supposed to be. If you want some less cerebral action, try out Bloxorz, but Interlocked is a challenge on a level that you rarely see in flash games.