Rotor’s scope – The Secret of the Endless Energy was released on the Xbox Live marketplace in late January. While it was released under the Indie Games section, it is more polished than a lot of the Arcade games released in the last couple of months. Rotor’scope is a puzzle game where you are tasked with matching colored blocks to clear them from the board. Unlike many block-based matching puzzle games you do not move the blocks and the board is not covered with them. Instead, there are just a few blocks on the board and you have the ability to rotate and flick the entire playing area. Gravity alone can move the blocks. Because of this rotation based mechanic, the game tests both your logic and spatial recognition.
The plotline of the game is that you have just arrived at the house of a missing inventor and you proceed to search the house for clues to his disappearance. This story is told between puzzles with comic-style panels. They are beautifully done. In many games, I would consider skipping the cut scenes between levels but in Rotor’s scope, they are too well done to even consider skipping them.
The puzzles start out easy and slowly get more difficult. The difficulty curve is slow and allows you to take your time getting a feel for the unique game mechanics. As you progress the puzzles add special block types to keep things interesting while you learn all the nuances of playing on a rotating board. The creators also did a nice job of letting you know when you’ve messed up one of the levels so bad it is not worth trying to fix. When this happens one of the characters of the screen will warn you that you might want to consider restarting the puzzle. In addition to a quick option to restart there is also an option to undo just the last step you made. So, if you hit accidentally rotate the wrong way you’re not stuck trying to fix your mistake. You can just take a step back and try again.
In addition to a full campaign, there is also a level creator where you can make create new puzzles and then share them with your friends. Additionally, after completing each level the game shows you if you have the best time for the level and gives you an option to post your score directly to your Facebook account. This is the first Xbox Live Indie Game to have this type of Facebook integration, and it works smoothly.
For fans of puzzle games Rotor’s scope is a new take on the match 3 game style. Priced at $5, 400 Microsoft Points, it can easily pass as an Xbox Live Arcade game, and, most importantly, it is fun to play. If you are looking for a game that is equally fun then you have Minecraft along with optifine shaders that enhance the graphics of this game drastically. With life-like graphics and images, you will find this game completely different.