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Hidden Gem of the Week: SPL-T

By , on March 14, 2018
Last modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago

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Simogo's games - from Year Walk to text-twisting Device 6 - are defined by how they use the touch interface to deliver unique narrative experiences. At a glance, the high score-chasing nature of SPL-T doesn't appear to be a Simogo title, but as you learn its rules, the game reveals itself to be as unique as any of their other games.

Your first attempt at SPL-T is likely to be confusing; its gameplay seems as simple as its minimal appearance. The core concept to understand as that you earn points by splitting the screen into halved blocks. These halves alternate between horizontal and vertical splits, and by dividing an area into four or more equally-sized blocks, they become marked with a number that indicates how many splits are left until those blocks leave the screen. Once you grasp that second mechanic, SPL-T's hidden Tetris-esque depth becomes clear. When blocks vanish, gravity takes over and drops overhead blocks into the gaps, allowing for new splits to be made and, more importantly, halving the number on any blocks that fall.

Combine all these mechanics and SPL-T changes from a puzzler that seems very simple to a game of careful planning to earn a high score. You need to think several moves ahead, considering how the splits you make will change the layout of the screen when they fall, if the splits you make now and the blocks that fall might result in a scenario where no splits can be made. It's a clever puzzle game, that highlights how minimalistic design can result in complex and nuanced challenge.

SPL-T is available for $2.99 on the App Store.