Abriss Is a Knock Down Success in Puzzle Gaming

ABRISS - build to destroy
Reviewed On
PlayStation 5
Available For

Hey all, I’m back with a review of a very interesting physics puzzle game. It’s Abriss – Build to Destroy, where players are tasked with taking down some massive structures in very interesting ways. Abriss  was first released for the PC on Steam in Early Access, but it has now made it over to consoles on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 as well as being fully released for the PC. There is a very powerful physics engine driving everything in Abriss, so only PCs and next generation consoles can handle the game.

Gameplay: There is no plot to the title, just pure puzzle solving entertainment, and boy does Abriss deliver on that. I don’t think I’ve had as much fun solving puzzles since Portal 2. Abriss, even without a story, holds up pretty well. The premise in Abriss isn’t to portal your way to the exit, but to use the provided objects and combine them in such a way as to topple massive structures and destroy them. For example, the very first puzzle is incredibly simple, and just involves building a structure that can destroy the neighboring structure using some blocks.

But things get much more complicated very quickly in Abriss. Eventually, you’ll be creating mobile tanks in order to fire cannons to destroy distant buildings or using springs to launch projectiles into the air in order to destroy floating structures. Granted, those were some of the much later puzzles, but I really enjoyed them. The difficulty ramps up slowly enough that most players will easily follow the learning curve.

On the PlayStation 5, there are some issues with the physics engine, particularly when it comes to the rocket tools you can attach to objects. They are incredibly finicky to the point of frustration for the average player, but you can easily reset your construction back to the starting point and try again with just a simple button press, so it’s not too bad. And even if you have trouble with certain puzzles, if you save up points earned by completing previous levels to a very high percentage (measured by how much of the target structure you destroy) you’ll earn Unlock Points which will let you skip a level if it proves too difficult.

There was also one level I encountered, Level 5-3, that was completely unplayable because it caused the PlayStation 5 to freeze up when trying to play it. When that happened, I had to reset the entire console and eventually ended up using those aforementioned points to skip that level so that I could move on. Note that I was reviewing Abriss just before it was released, so that bug has likely been fixed at this point.

In addition to playing the levels in order, where there are five worlds with seven levels each, Abriss also has a sandbox mode where you can play endlessly. I was really working hard trying to get the highest scores on each of the puzzle levels, so I did not dive into the sandbox too much, but if you really enjoy the kind of gameplay that Abriss offers, this is a nice way to extend that experience.

Art: The art is pretty simplistic, but that’s not a bad thing here and everything is incredibly smooth when it comes to the animations. The object destruction animations are also great fun to watch, and it’s clear that the physics engine is accurate and powerful too. Overall, Abriss is certainly not up to AAA game standards, but it really doesn’t need to be to offer an entertaining experience in the context of a destructive puzzle title.

Music: The music is just kind of there. It’s honestly something I didn’t bother listening to closely after the first set of puzzles. It’s not bad but just very much not the point of Abriss.

Overall: If you want a very entertaining physics puzzle title, then Abriss is an absolute delight to play. It’s so much fun seeing some of those structures get toppled over when you attack them.

For those who like: Engineering, physics, puzzles, and destroying structures.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but how can anyone not enjoy trying to destroy structures in such interesting and unique ways?

Platforms: , ,
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