hocus. ($0.99) by Yunus Ayyildiz is a perspective illusion puzzle that will be sure to delight anyone who loves a good puzzle. If you enjoyed titles like Monument Valley and Back to Bed, then you will appreciate what Hocus has to offer.
Ever since Monument Valley first came out, I’ve been hooked on the Escheresque art style, so I love seeing new games come out that carry this particular look and feel to it. And since puzzles are one of my favorite genres, it seems that Hocus is just a perfect fit for me, and anyone else who likes the genre.
The visuals in Hocus are super minimalistic, featuring an off-white background and varying hues of grays and blacks for the puzzles themselves. The starting and ending points are clearly marked due to the bright red that contrasts well with the rest of the colors, and the animations are smooth. The zen soundtrack is whimsical and calming, and the clicking sound effects are a nice touch.
At the moment, Hocus has 50 levels to go through, with more coming in the future. The goal in the game is to get the red cube into the red cutout that is located somewhere on mind-bending architecture that changes perspectives on you, depending on how you move along it. Since the game does not limit your moves or have a scoring system, you can technically take as long as you want on each stage, and solve everything through trial-and-error. Because of this, the game isn’t going to be one of the most difficult puzzle games you’ll come across, but it is still fairly entertaining and a good way to relax with.
The controls in Hocus are simple and easy to understand. To move the cube along the path, just swipe your finger in the direction you want it to go. At the top of the screen will be a black circle with some arrows — pay attention to the arrows, because these indicate the directions that you can move in from your current position. If you are in a dead end spot, then no arrows will be shown, and you’ll have to backtrack. The thing that separates Hocus from other games like this is the fact that you aren’t able to rotate the structures, so you have to look carefully to see the paths that you should be taking in order to solve the puzzle.
As I mentioned, you will be able to go through all of these puzzles just by the process of trial-and-error. There is no scoring system or restricted number of moves to make to complete a stage, so there’s nothing to worry about and little replay value once you finish everything. There is Game Center support for leaderboards, though it ranks you just by the number of levels you’ve completed so far. Hopefully the developer adds more stages sooner rather than later, because there isn’t much else to do once the 50 levels are done.
I’ve been playing Hocus for a while now, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far. The minimal graphics are aesthetically pleasing, the music is soothing, controls are intuitive, and the puzzles can be challenging. I just want to see more levels and maybe different modes to give players a real mental workout (solve it in “x” amount of moves, etc.)
I recommend Hocus if you are a fan of perspective puzzle games. Hocus is on the App Store as a universal download for just $0.99.