Review: Source Control

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Puzzles are my secret obsession, riddles, crosswords even wordsearches, ever since I was a kid I’ve had a weaknesses for cryptics and the harder the better. I’m not saying I’m some sort of genius who can see the logic and rationality of the enigma and find the answer, sometimes I never solved it but the challenge was worthwhile. While I’ve dabbled in the puzzle video game genre most of my time was taken up by Tetris or similar games but now a new game has come along, from Irish indie developers, exGamer Studios; Source Control.

Unlike Tetris and other gem breaker games, you have a purpose, you are racing to defeat a rogue AI as you hack your  way through encryptions and avoiding the enemy trace. The plot isn’t developed much further than that and it doesn’t need to be, you have enough on your plate just trying to complete the level.
Like other gem breakers you will match four of the same coloured nodes, the controls are a little different and while you can pick them up easily enough, there is certainly skill involved and one you’ll have to develop if you want to succeed at later stages.

SourceControlScreenShot4The game comes in through modes, arcade, survival and casual:

  • Arcade mode increases in difficulty with each stage you clear with more challenges the further you go
  • Survival mode is all about lasting as long as you can against the AI
  • Casual let’s you play the game at your own pace

Source Control also features a handy tutorial mode that takes you through the different elements of the game, from the controls right through to using trojan viruses to attack the AI’s firewall while repairing your own. As mentioned above the controls are a little different, while in most gem breakers you swap lined up colours (blocks, fruit, candy) pieces and try to match three or four in a row, in Tetris you try to twist shapes into forming complete lines on a grid. Source Control is about matching coloured nodes but it’s methods are different, there are four colours, red, blue, green and yellow, your screen is divided into five squares, four large and one smaller central one, this is where you have to match up in order to clear the nodes. You can turn all five blocks any direction and you can even shift control of the central block one space (in any direction) to move nodes in the centre of the blocks. While you can move as many times as you want, each move will decrease your reward before it begins to penalise your overall score.

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Let’s face it, the market is saturated by these style of games, ‘Candy Crush Saga’, ‘Blockle’ and even ‘Tetris’ maintain a chokelike grip on their audience and so things for a newcomer are going to be difficult when it comes to breaking through and it will need to be pretty special if it’s even going to get a look in! These games all work by getting the player hooked, you lose the level but you don’t want it to beat you and so you’ll go back to it again and again until you solve it! Source Control does that… it does that in abundance!

The game doesn’t seem like it wants to just sit amongst the others, these games are all about bold colours and loud noises, the flashing lights that cheer you on to the next stage! Source Control takes the bones of the genre and discards the rest, the nodes are colourful, everything else is not important and your attention isn’t pulled away from the game every second to check the time or your score – you are focused all the time on achieving your goal and defeating the AI. Once you get into this swing of things you’ll find your reactions and handling of the controls become second nature but it takes just one wrong move, one incorrect turn to throw you off your game and once that happens it’s difficult to get it back.

Source Control is as brilliant as it is frustrating and that’s a good thing! Puzzle games are meant to challenge you, pick at your abilities and most importantly be difficult. There is no fun in a game that let’s you skip levels or use special bonuses the more money you sink into it. Source Control is a modern twist on classic puzzle gaming and while I want to throw my computer out the window when I lose… I also want to beat the smart ass AI!

The game is currently available on ‘Desura‘ and ‘IndieCity‘ if you want to get  copy of it! To find out more about Source Control and developers, exGamers Studios click here!
Source Control is now on Steam Greenlight and your support would be very much appreciated!

The Arcade Verdict
Gameplaywww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Addictive, different and intelligent - keeps you coming back
Graphicswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Simple and effective
Musicwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Barely noticeable when playing but it captures the tense premise of the game
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Average score from all categories.

Declan Doody

I eat, sleep and breathe this stuff! Mostly sleep! Contact: editor@the-arcade.ie

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