Splice : Tree of Life iPad Review

By , on September 4, 2012

Splice : Tree of Life
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Clinical, yet distinctly organically designed interface; like floating through space on a micro-level.
  • Short, yet challenging puzzles; stretches your temporal and spacial logic muscles.


  • Occasional graphics glitches; doesn't harm gameplay, but can be off-putting.
  • No indicators for puzzles solved as 'angelic'; makes life a pain for the compulsive gamer.


Elegant in its execution, Splice : Tree of Life mixes visual, aural and tactile elements to create a puzzler that feels organic to its core - a real gem for fans of puzzle titles.

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Much like Mother Nature, Splice : Tree of Life is unforgiving in its relentless brutality. You’re popped in to a universe almost without any concept of what you’re meant to do and while you can find some help, it won’t do you any good until you can understand it. Cipher Prime Studios capture this vicious elegance in their cell-splicing puzzler and you’ll need to ponder and experiment to make any headway.

First and foremost, Splice is a beautifully presented game - there’s a pseudo-sci-fi element to the interface as it highlights organic structures with clear holographic labels. Twisting and turning the iDevice will shift your point of view slightly - not enough to affect the puzzles, but enough to give a sense of depth, resulting in the whole thing feeling like a realistic simulation.

The main puzzle element comes in the form of touching and moving (splicing) cells to a new position in order to form the required pattern. Each cell can only have two ‘children’ and special cells that can duplicate, extend and even destroy pathways will limit where you can place cells on the stage.

Wrapping your head around the folding, changing, tree-like cell patterns is no easy thing and the lack of a step-by-step tutorial may put some people off, but persevere - you’ll soon have the hang of it and that’s when the real brain-scratching begins.

Part eye-candy, part lobe-tickling puzzler, Splice : Tree of Life is a gorgeously presented concept that has a more-ish appeal to its outwardly ‘simple’ looking stages; definitely worth adding to your puzzle collection.


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