Solving Puzzles in XLOX

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Welcome Time Wasters!

This week my time wasting still has me focusing on my computer, but I’m hoping to switch it up next week. Until then, I’m here to talk about a browser game called XLOX.

XLOX is a puzzle game that has players trying to remove all blocks from within a restricted area. Clicking on one of the white blocks will cause it to disappear. However, additional blocks will then be created anywhere an open space is available. The hollow blocks act as walls and can’t have other blocks created on them. Spaces next to a block that already contain one will have it destroyed when clicked on and no new one will be created.

XLOX starts out simple enough.

The idea behind XLOX is simple and it isn’t anything that fans of the genre haven’t already seen. I’m fairly certain that there’s a name for puzzles games of this style, but I can’t remember it for the life of me. That isn’t to say that the game isn’t fun, though. It has 42 levels to challenge players and ramps up in difficulty quickly after the first few.

Players that need a driving force behind their puzzle games won’t find anything here to get them going. There is no story or rewards to earn from beating the levels in XLOX. Instead, the game is all about the satisfaction of overcoming a particularity tough puzzle with one’s own mental prowess. This may not be enough of a reward for some, but it suites me just fine. Simple puzzle games that try to shoehorn in a story almost always come across as shallow endeavors.

There really isn’t much else to say about XLOX’s gameplay. It’s simple in concept and doesn’t bring anything new to the table. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Just that it’s the case here.

But the difficulty starts to ramp up early on.

The visuals in XLOX are also simple. Every level has a blue background that lacks anything in the way of detail. The white blocks in the game have a glow to them that causes them to stand out, and there’s a satisfying pop to their disappearance when clicked on.

Players that want to listen to music while playing XLOX have two options. A happy and slightly energetic track, or nothing. The song isn’t bad and it definitely fits well in the game. Turning it off leaves the game’s sound effects in place. This makes it easy enough to listen to your own music and still feel like you are playing the game, which is a plus.

Overall, XLOX is a satisfying puzzle game for those that enjoy the genre. It doesn’t have any standout features, but it does have polish. That’s enough for me, but the lack of any unique gimmick in the gameplay, and no story or driving force may bore some players.

XLOX earns 3 GiN Gems out of 5!


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