Sometimes, one comes across a game that defies a description. You cannot pin it down. Not for its complexity, but rather for its simplicity. Some call these games as ‘time-wasters’ in an acknowledgement of their capacity to totally absorb us. I look at them as productive tools to keep my brain from not atrophying into dementia. The Plateau fits itself right into this definition.
For a better definition though, we head to the Best iPhone Games page where it has been recommended by readers and we have described it as –
Unravel holographic structures of orbs in this “untangling” puzzler featuring atmospheric ambient music and gorgeous artwork.
But you won’t begin to appreciate the ethereal quality of the game unless you download it from the App Store, and meet the challenges posed by the glowing orbs in inter-galactic space. The surprising thing (I am not complaining) about this game is that it is absolutely free. Though, if you go to the developer site, you will see a price mentioned. Ignore that. Grab the game.
A Mind-Bender in Space
The term ‘out of this world wouldn’t be a wrong way to describe it. The puzzle of The Plateau is set in deep space. But it is as far away from a space adventure game as aliens are from landing on your porch. The Plateau has inter-connected glowing orbs with their glowing interconnections (or filaments) crisscrossing each other in different ways. The challenge of the game is to unravel these filaments and arrange the orbs so that no two filaments intersect each other.
Think of the orbs as planets in space. You have to move them around and position them so that they are untangled and the red orbs turn green. As is usual in puzzle games, the initial three or four levels will draw you in with its simplicity, and you will get the way to move the orbs around and clear the filaments. Then, the difficulty level begins to rise and it almost gives you the same sense of frustration that comes with untangling knots!
Play the Levels and Find Your Way through Unknown Realms
When you start a new game, you are given a choice of playing in the Challenge Mode or the Arcade Mode.
There are 50 puzzles in each. The Challenge Mode is simpler and you do not have to play against the clock. Play at your own space and work out strategies to align the orbs and unravel the filaments. Think of it is as a dress-rehearsal for the more challenging Arcade Mode where you race against the clock. You accumulate points by solving the puzzles within the allocated time (usually 45 seconds). Your speed and strategy decide your bonuses usually indicated by orbs which change color.
For instance, an orange orb turns white and indicates you got a 2500 points bonus. Similarly, a blue orb is also a point’s multiplier. On the downside, if you lose time, a black orb tells you that you just lost a few from your hard-earned points. One of the skills you can develop with practice is to move several orbs at once…but as I have found out, it takes some doing.
If you lose to the clock or to the challenge, you can check out the solution from the menu.
The Plateau also takes you through five distinct worlds as you cross the levels, each with beautiful ‘spacescapes’. The ambient music sets up the galactic feel of the game.
Appealing, Attractive, and Addictive
The Plateau will definitely get your brain working and also help you to kill time. You might say that there are 100 levels in all. But The Plateau uses an advanced AI algorithm that always generates different plays in each level so it doesn’t feel stale at all. One of the nicer touches is that the game automatically saves your levels, so you can resume from where you left off.
It is one of the iOS puzzle games which definitely deserved to have a price attached to it, but I am glad it doesn’t. I can give you a few hints on how to play this game, but I leave it to you to develop your own strategy and crisscross the space of The Plateau. Come back to Earth and tell us all about it.