Energy Cycle Edge is made by Sometimes You, the same guys behind Energy Invasion, Energy Balance, and Energy Cycle. As you might be able to tell the developers seem to have a bit of a thing about energy. Unfortunately, the game is not quite as energizing as you might be hoping for.
All three of the past Energy titles had different game mechanics but Energy Cycle Edge is a sequel to Energy Cycle and so features the same type of puzzles. It’s essentially a “lights-out” style game, but instead of aiming to turn off all the lights you instead have to try to turn everything to the same color. Clicking on a node will cycle it through a series of three colors, and it’ll also change every node adjacent to it in a horizontal or vertical line.
Maybe it’s because it’s a sequel, but the developers have made the strange decision not to include any kind of tutorial or even a simple little dialogue box listing out the controls. It makes the game feel a little sparse. When you boot it up, you’ll greeted by a menu screen that gives you the option of watching the credits, tweaking the options, or jumping straight into the puzzles. While it’s fairly simple to get to grips with what you need to do, it does feel a bit odd not to include any kind of warm up puzzles or welcoming text.
There are 44 puzzles in total, which you can tackle in any order. They can be difficult to solve at first but it’s a bit like learning how to do a Rubik’s cube. Once you figure out some of the tricks to matching up everything in a line, you’ll start to get much quicker at solving it.
The game doesn’t let you get too comfortable though, and it’s not long before it throws an interesting curve ball at you. By pressing L1 or R1 you can turn the puzzle on its axis to view a different side of it. The different sides of the puzzle are linked so changing the colors on one side will impact the nodes on the other sides too.
To begin with you will only have to play around with a couple of sides but as you get up to the final handful of levels you’ll be able to rotate it round like a cube. It can be pretty tough to figure these out and they could potentially take you hours and thousands of clicks to solve. If you manage to succeed then you’ll definitely be feeling pretty pleased with yourself.
When you do successfully complete a puzzle, a lady in a futuristic-looking skin-tight catsuit will give you a thumbs up. The game never tells you why they do this, and they don’t seem to have any names or a backstory.
Maybe they’re trapped in space and by matching up all the nodes, you’re freeing them from a prison. Or maybe in the future, this is how you attract a mate—by showing off your intelligence and turning things into pretty colors, like some kind of celestial space bird showing off its beautiful plumage. Or maybe I’m just over thinking it all, and they’re just a bit of eye candy. Personally, I prefer to think that I’m freeing a load of nubile space princesses from their evil alien overlords, but that’s just me and my overactive imagination. Feel free to pick your own backstory for the game.
Aside from my own over-the-top daydreaming there isn’t a lot to get excited about here. Sure, the game functions adequately, I didn’t experience any glitches or crashes while playing and the music fits the futuristic theme well. But there isn’t a whole lot of content, there are no leader boards or alternative modes to play through, once you finish the 44 puzzles that’s pretty much it.
Even though it’s unlikely to be something that keeps you enthralled for long, when you take into account the game’s fairly low price tag, it’s still worth a look if you like these kinds of puzzles. It’s also worth it if you’re the type who likes to hunt Platinum trophies. Once people start uploading solutions to the puzzles online, you could easily blast through them all within a couple of hours. It definitely won’t take you much effort before you’d get to hear that sweet, addictive ping of a shiny new Platinum trophy.
Energy Cycle Edge review code provided by publisher. Version 1.01 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.