Review: One More Button21 Aug 2018 0
Review: One More Button
Released 04 Aug 2018
Mobile puzzle games are a dime a dozen. Many take the path of least resistance, despite the genre being one of the most open to innovation and new concepts. That's why One More Button stands out despite its simplicity. It takes familiar mechanics and turns them on their head to make for a fun, easy-to-understand, and challenging
One More Button is the sequel to the mobile title No More Buttons, a hand-drawn platform-based puzzler with an intriguing control scheme. It's more of the same interesting design, and could nearly be called the same game, just an extension of the original. With that said, it's a great twist on typical 'move this there, now stand here' formulate that all-too-often permeates on-the-go puzzlers.
The premise is extremely simple. You play a small yellow creature with one eye looking to reach a level's end goal. There's only one problem: There are small bright yellow blocks in your way with lots of different arrows on them. They represent the directions your character can move in. The game doesn't make this explicitly clear at the beginning, so before you start tapping around trying to figure things out, it can be a bit confusing if you didn't play the first title.
You'll notice that there's no on-screen controls to move your character, and you can't just tap where you want it to go. That's because there aren't any traditional controls. Each maze-like level instead finds you tapping on those yellow blocks with arrows on them, because those are also the controls. Pressing on one of the blocks with a right arrow will move your character right, and so on. It's an interesting deconstruction of puzzle controls that tie up the very way you control the game as part of each stage as a whole, and it's a refreshing change of pace because of it.
The goal of each level is obviously to reach the exit the end, marked with a block with a lock on it. This is achieved by pushing around the arrows themselves onto special areas on the map with the outline of where the buttons should go or figuring out how to push the blocks away and into areas where they aren't blocking your path. It's quite simple to get accustomed to early on as you're getting your bearings, but then the game throws quite a few curveballs into the mix to keep you on your toes.
Once you've become adept at clearing out paths with its rather unorthodox control scheme, it's time to tackle special unlockable areas and blocks that require you to flip them around, as you won't be able to slide them on their designated spaces if they're pointing in the wrong direction. Luckily, tapping on a button offers precise moves, if a bit frustrating since you're always going to be searching where the other directional controls are with each puzzle setup. But this setup completely deconstructs the way typical mobile games approach control, which is the most admirable part of the whole thing, and something you’ll come to appreciate as you play.
If you make a mistake, unfortunately, you'll have to simply restart the entire level. There is no undo button for your last move, so if you find that you've pushed a block all the way it can go to the bottom of the screen accidentally, it's stuck there. It's prudent to try and remember the moves you've made because of this, which can be a bit frustrating in later levels. There's no real strategic reason to exclude a 'rewind' step, so it's strange that the only option is to erase all progress.
While there are also plenty of levels and mazes to solve, each level isn't very large, and only takes a few minutes to complete. This isn't so much a negative, but a hope for longer, more complex mazes in any future content instalments or sequels. Since you'll have to restart levels several times using the 'undo' feature, you’ll be spending plenty of time in each one, anyway.
One More Button is a fun experiment in changing the way players approach and think about puzzle games as well as the way they’re controlled. It’s not absolutely perfect in its execution and could use a bit polish for any future iterations, but it’s a fun diversion for a few minutes at a time while waiting at the doctor’s office or on your commute.