Rainbow Train, the makers of the hardcore minimal “dodge-em-up” oO, has released an all-new minimal puzzle game experience on the Play Store that is simply known as PUSH. A fitting name for a puzzler where the central mechanic has you pushing button after button. What is interesting is that there is no timer, no point system, and no real objective other than to complete one puzzle after another. Essentially you can tackle this release at your own pace, which is excellent for a game marketed as a relaxing experience.
If you are not sure what to make of the game after watching that trailer, let me see if I can put it into words.
Each level, round, stage, (whatever you want to call it) contains an object in the center of the screen that is covered in buttons. These buttons will need to be pressed in a particular order depending on their look and placement. It is up to you to parse precisely what that order is supposed to be through trial and error. Luckily the game introduces each differing button at a leisurely pace. This way you are never too out of sorts as to what it is the game wants you to do. Which is really the beauty of its design, the fact that there is no tutorial, no help menu, no hint system, there is nothing to read whatsoever. Everything is revealed through gameplay and only gameplay.
This means you will find a lot of challenge in the later levels. While I can’t say I was ever stumped for too long, it will take a lot of lateral thinking to beat this game in its entirety. Luckily if you happen to click on the upper left dot on your screen, you will see two arrows show up at the very bottom. These are used to navigate to earlier puzzles, which is convenient for when you feel like cleansing your palate with a more accessible puzzle.
Backing up its relaxing yet challenging gameplay is a futuristic tech-noir soundtrack that will ease your mind while not being too intrusive. I would say it fits well with the overall design of the title and gives you a sense that this is a complete package that has been well thought out.
I would also like to point out that PUSH is a premium release that is monetized by a single upfront purchase priced at $ 0.99. There are no in-app purchases or advertisements included with this title, which is a-okay with me.
Sadly not everything about this release gets glowing praise. One glaring omission I found is the fact that there is no support for Google Play Games Services. This means there is no leaderboard, no achievement system, and worst of all no cloud save support. While the lack of GPG is fitting for what is supposed to be a minimal experience, it would have been really nice to be able to pick up where I last left off on a different device.
While the lack of GPG is disheartening, hopefully the developers can add it in through an update down the road. Other than that one caveat, the rest of the game is a complete joy. The balancing is well paced, and the design shows a clear focus on even the smallest of details that I wish more developers would concentrate on. If you are looking for a new relaxing puzzler that does not rush you in the slightest, I thoroughly recommend giving PUSH a look.