To be honest, I am picky about my puzzle games. I like a game that challenge me with logic based puzzles, but also have a good driving story and interesting characters. Energy Cycle Edge (ECE) has only one of these things. ECE is, and I have not boiled it down any, a game where you rotate color spheres to match colors…that’s it.
I was shocked when I booted the game up and saw this science fiction themed menu and was excited to dig in. I hit play and was offered different levels to choose from. Perplexed, I hit level one and started on the orb color change puzzle. It took a few moments before I backed out to the main menu, just to double check I didn’t miss something. Nope, this was it. Although, in the end, I still had to look online just to triple check there wasn’t really anything else to the game.
They say that variety is the spice of life. And if that’s true, then Energy Cycle Edge is about as dull as eating a handful of raw flour.
So I am going to break away from the review here to kind of editorialize. Maybe, as a 27 year old gamer who grew up with NES, I was not the target audience. To be frank, I don’t feel like this is a console game. Yes, the Switch is technically a mobile system, but that is not what I mean. ECE has the look and feel of a cellphone game that I’d play unwillingly while waiting for my wife to beat her dentist in the thunderdome so we can go get lunch. It is not something I want to play on an actual console.
Here is a comparison for you readers. This would be like taking your switch (or other console) and paying five dollars, the cost of ECE, for Angry Birds. As a reference point, Earth Wars and Shut Eye are less than ECE on the Nintendo Shop. Both of those games have stories and characters to follow and attach themselves to. I can’t bring myself to spend money on a game where I can get similar title for free on my phone. Call me entitled or just that I don’t get it, but as a gamer with a tight budget I am making sure my money goes farther.
Back to ECE, this game has some good music and it plays as it should. Overall, I found it boring and something that I would have put on my Switch if I were not reviewing it, and if it had not been provided to me for free for the review.
There is nothing wrong with Energy Cycle Edge other than its seeming incompleteness. It’s just wasting capacity being on the Switch with no plot, no story, and no variation in puzzles. And while the graphics look nice, they don’t really push the envelope at all, and start to look boring because of all their sameness. If you see this game, or something like it, on the Google Play or Apple store for free, by all means give it a try. But it really does not belong on a console, and while the $5 price is certainly a budget deal, unless you really, really love the core concept of changing the color of those spheres, it’s actually not worth it.
My final thought is this: If you are thinking of getting this game, you would probably be better off spending your $5 on some other indie puzzle game that offers a lot more in the way of variety or depth. Energy Cycle Edge becomes my lowest rated title so far in 2019 with a subpar 2 out of 5 GiN Gems score.