We all know the pain of tangled wires. Be they ear buds, power cords or any number of other types of cords and connectors, untangling them has become a part of life in this technical age.
Now, that too has been gamified, in XTRIK, a deceptively simple puzzle game by Nick Zangus that catches you off guard with just how difficult it’s simple premise can be.
Untie knots like there is no tomorrow! How long can you last? Challenge your brain-finger coordination in this brand new endless game! Collect coins and unlock themes to personalize your XTRIK experience.
You’ll start playing XTRIK, and for the first, say 30 seconds, you’re think its a bit of a joke. The game revolves around uncrossing wires of different colors as they move towards the bottom of the screen. This is done with a simple click or touch of the finger, and is very easy to understand even without tutorials XTRIK’s visual design is really spot on.
The first little bit of the game is remarkably easy, and I’ll admit my first reaction was ” that’s it?”. It felt far to easy, to slow, and incredibly one-note, simply clicking each knot and having it unravel.
Then suddenly, the game morphs into a hard as nails, fast as a cheetah puzzler that’s unique, brilliant and the perfect mix of fun and frustrating.
XTRIK’s difficulty hits you fast and hard, and I’ll admit it took me by surprise. For some, it may be a bit too steep of a difficulty curve, and t could certainly have a little bit more gradual rise in difficulty, but I honestly enjoyed the surprising slap in the face. What makes XTRIK difficult is not only the speed at which the knots wall toward the bottom of the screen, but also the the fact that untangling one knot often creates another, if not more. So, to really be successful with XTRIK you have to both be thinking on your feet and two steps ahead.
The game is endless, and you’ll be working to go as long as possible, as well as collecting coins (which you earn quite quickly) to unlock different cosmetic customization options.
Speaking of cosmetics, the game looks very crisp and clean, with bright colors that are easy to tell apart and track when things are moving fast. The controls are simple and responsive, and any mistakes made always felt like they were on me, not on the controls or the game.
XTRIK is a very simple game, and revolves around a simple concept, but it’s superbly well executed and that simplicity doesn’t stop it from being incredibly difficult. It’s art style is minimalistic and well designed, and it taps perfectly into the “one more try” mentality to keep you coming back for more.