Written by Karin E. Skoog
Platforms: iOS (current), Android (anticipated)
Singapore/Taiwan (Soft Launch): 20 June, 2016
Canada/Japan/UK (Soft Launch): 1 Nov. 2016
US: Anticipated (Jan. 2017)
Languages: English, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, German, Spanish (European), Spanish (Latin American), Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian
Genre: Casual puzzle, free-to-play
Price: Free (U.S.)
Developer: Sillywalk Games (website)
Publisher: LAI Global Game Publishing (website)
Mind Mould is a game for enthusiasts of all casual puzzle games - from Tetris players to Sudoku geniuses. It challenges you to make mental connections and see patterns emerge from a blank canvas.
It is your own thought process and foresight that will be challenged. Never once will you curse the design of the game. After all, that is the mark of a truly great puzzle game - one where you battle your own mind, rather than fight with the game itself.
Puzzle games can sometimes be a hit or miss, via excessive hand holding or not enough guidance. With Mind Mould, it is immediately clear what the player needs to do.
It may take a couple levels before you learn each piece and how they fit together, but once you do, it becomes Sudoku-esque, where you see patterns start to emerge on a large, blank canvas, causing you to think many moves ahead in order to win.
The game takes place in your mind more than on the actual game board. As the puzzles progress, this happens even more. You mentally start to see many combinations before actually placing the pieces.
The beauty of Mind Mould is that the puzzles have an intrinsic reward system - The more you play, the more you see new patterns that help you with future puzzles. These mental connections even grant you the ability to complete older puzzles more effectively.
Since the pieces are doled out randomly, this adds to the replayability of puzzles. There are multiple ways of completing the same puzzle, which can become a game within itself.
Randomness in games can sometimes feel like the game is purposely setting you up to fail. However, in Mind Mould, the randomness of the pieces never feels unfair, as there are only 5 pieces to cycle through (a whole 2 pieces less than Tetris!).
Like in Candy Crush, you can replay a previous level if you get stuck on your current level.
For those who enjoy the social aspect of casual puzzle games, Mind Mould also integrates Facebook so you can compete against friends for the best scores.
Arguably the most important part of a solid puzzle game, the mechanics are where Mind Mould shines.
There are 6 types of moves available:
You can see your current puzzle piece, the next puzzle piece, and if you accidentally place a piece you didn’t intend, you can simply undo. This element can actually be used as a tactic to see one step farther into the future.
Since there is no penalty for undoing the most recently played piece, it provides an advantage, allowing you to see three whole pieces at once before evaluating what you would like to do.
In addition, you can destroy pieces you know you won’t need, and if you make a mistake, you can blast away older pieces with rockets (which is satisfying in and of itself!).
You can see these mechanics in action in this gameplay trailer:
The game’s difficulty escalates at a manageable rate, starting out with a limited space and opening up to a much larger space.
It may seem daunting at first to get so much space to place pieces, but it isn’t long before you are evaluating moves and minimizing the number of turns it takes to complete a level.
Mind Mould has an interesting achievement system. The first item I won was a pet named Bravo. At first, I didn’t know if it served any purpose beyond a trophy in my inventory, but as I
progressed further into the game, it ended up being a nice addition to get a fun little quote from “waking up” these various pets and adding them to my collection.
The pet system adds a little something extra to unlocking achievements.
The free-to-play model is sometimes abused (especially on mobile platforms), making players quick to uninstall games because there is no way of playing without spending money.
However, with Mind Mould, free-to-play is implemented in a way where gameplay isn’t inhibited. You begin the game with a good number of rockets and can win some back later, via the daily wheel spin. As long as you play strategically (and/or utilize your rechargeable lives), you can easily play through the game without spending a single cent.
There is a degree of freedom with these prizes, as you may also win coins that allow you to recharge lives, buy items, etc.
While a casual puzzle game doesn’t necessarily require a story, Mind Mould’s intro video serves as a nice transition into the game.
Plus, the pets you win along the way reveal more about the world of Mouldia, its past, and the goddess that protects the world and aids you along the way.
View the intro video below:
The good news is that the background music won’t get stuck in your head after you finish playing for the day. While it probably isn’t something you’ll sing along with, if you do, tweet us @LanguageAutoInc - we would love to hear your rendition!
The music reinforces the mysterious theme of the world and its impending destruction if you don’t save it.
Mind Mould is a great puzzle game to play on-the-go or while you’re relaxing at home. It is a game that requires a certain degree of thought and strategy, so if you’re a fan of games like Sudoku, Tetris, or even logic puzzles, Mind Mould is a game for you!
You have nothing to lose either since it’s free to play! Give it a try, tell your friends/parents about it, and let us know what you think (@laiglobalgame).
Disclosure: This page was written by an affiliate of Mind Mould’s publishing company, but we wouldn’t have published the game if we didn’t think it was worth your time!
Date Published: July 1, 2016
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android (anticipated)