Energy Balance (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 27.08.2017

Review for Energy Balance on PlayStation 4

A few weeks back, Cubed3 reviewed Energy Cycle, a game about changing every node on the playing field to the same colour. It was, in general, an underwhelming title that did little to add anything to the puzzle genre as a whole. Now, it's sibling Energy Balance arrives, with a new mechanic, as well as the friendly little cat from Energy Cycle. Sadly, this has a wealth of its own problems…

Energy Balance is, much like Energy Cycle before it, an entire game based around a simple puzzle mechanic. A grid fills with random numbers, and at the rows or columns, there is a value that needs to be met. The objective is to move the number values that are randomly assigned to the grid around, until they equal the value in question.

Let's take a look at an example, in case that's still a bit confusing. There is a single row, at the end of which is the value 0/15. There are several numbers in the row, and some additional numbers in columns that do not have any values of their own. The player needs to move the numbers into the centre row so all of the numbers together equal 15, so the final value can be 15/15. It's sort of a riff on Sudoku, to give a different example of how the gameplay works.

If that's still confusing, well, you might be lost for a while. The tutorial is completely bare bones, and even though it gets the point across, doesn't really help all that much in conveying the objective or how to complete it. The game is incredibly short, with only 12 levels in the main game mode, while the additional modes, Hardcore and Square, each contain four.

Screenshot for Energy Balance on PlayStation 4

While it may seem paltry to only have 20 levels, each one randomly incorporates numbers into its grid. This means there is actually quite a bit of replay value, as each level follows a specific grid layout, rather than a specific solution. The game is difficult, though, especially if you aren't good at math based puzzles, meaning one could find themselves sitting there for quite some time just trying to beat the story mode.

Energy Balance is step up for Sometimes You, and offers a ton of replayability. The soundtrack is decent, the background art, while nothing more than that, makes the game feel prettier than a plain background would have. The controls are also exceptionally easy to use, but there is a caveat to that. When a number is highlighted, it has a soft glow around that is can be somewhat hard to see. This makes knowing which piece is which somewhat challenging.

Really, enjoyment is going to come down to whether this is the kind of game that gets you excited. Getting into the mechanics is mildly enjoyable, though puzzles get frustrating fairly quickly, perhaps due to the small set of levels available. This is a tiny puzzler that will definitely appeal to a niche audience, but it's an enjoyable time nonetheless.

Screenshot for Energy Balance on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Despite a low count of levels and a difficult mechanic to grasp at first, Energy Balance is a decent puzzle game that you will like more if you're into math based titles. However, for those who find math repulsive, steer clear of it, as one's grasp of numbers is the primary decider on how well they will do. For those who do enjoy its charms, this is a great little puzzle game that should not be overlooked.

Developer

Sometimes You

Publisher

Sometimes You

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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