Perchang ($1.99) by Perchang is a physics-based puzzle game that involves plenty of various mechanical contraptions, small metal balls, and goals. If you enjoyed classic games like Casey’s Contraptions and Amazing Alex, then you will love what Perchang brings to the modern world of contraption-based puzzles.
Ever since mobile gaming erupted in a boom with the App Store back in 2008, puzzle games have been one of the best things about mobile gaming, for me at least. Many of the popular iOS games that resulted have always been puzzles, such as the Angry Birds franchise, Cut the Rope series, Monument Valley, Square Enix Montreal’s GO games (Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO), and more, so it’s obvious that I’m not the only one who likes puzzles on iOS. However, one thing is certain — it’s been a long time since a contraption-style puzzle game hit the App Store. But now that Perchang has arrived, it’s definitely a must-have title for any physics-based puzzle fan’s collection.
In terms of visuals, Perchang has a minimalist aesthetic going on due to the bright white background (off-set slightly with a vignette effect around the edges), simplistic-looking gizmos that are all completely rendered in 3-D, hues of black, gray, and white with subtle splashes of red and blue color for the parts of the contraptions that you can control with the corresponding buttons. Animations in Perchang are buttery smooth, so it’s rather mesmerizing once everything starts getting into the flow — before you know it, the puzzle is solved and you’ll be moving on to the next one. The soundtrack in Perchang is rather atmospheric and soothing, which is just the icing on the cake. The developers have created a fantastic visual and audio package with Perchang that all puzzle fans need to experience for themselves.
Like other puzzle games, Perchang is level-based, with a total of 60 stages (50 regular levels and 10 challenging Gold Runs that need to be unlocked first) spread out over 10 areas. The objective in each stage is to get the required amount of balls to the goal, which is always indicated by the numerous black bars. When one ball gets to the goal, a bar will light up, and you repeat the process until they are all lit. The levels start out easy enough with just one goal, but soon you’ll experience multiple goals and much more complex layouts for the gizmos, so you’ll need all of your hand-and-eye coordination to solve the puzzles later on. To make the game even more challenging, you have to race the clock on every level — the faster you are, the better chance you have of earning a gold medal. A progress bar at the top right corner tells you the threshold of medal you’ll be receiving with the elapsed time so far.
Controls in Perchang are super simple and easy-to-understand. There are two buttons in the bottom corners: one red and one blue. Pressing these buttons will activate the corresponding gizmos on the stage, which include flippers, magnets, portals, fans, anti-gravity hoops, and much more. But sometimes you’ll notice that there are too many of one color for the contraptions, or you need to change a color to make things flow better. Fortunately, the color of any working gizmo on the stage can be changed with just one tap. It’s all easy enough that anyone can pick up on it, but mastering the timing and coordination of everything is an entirely different story.
The only problem I have with Perchang is the fact that after the short countdown to start each level, the timer for the medals begins. I don’t think this is enough time for one to properly plan out the solution, and as a result, you may feel a bit rushed. You will also end up replaying a level multiple times if you always strive for the gold medal, which may be annoying. I think a better way to implement the countdown is to have it start after you press the buttons. It’s not a super big deal, but hopefully it’s something that the developers can consider.
As mentioned, Perchang will initially start off with 50 levels, but if you do well enough, you unlock the Gold Run challenges, which are even more difficult tests of your coordination. There are also leaderboards supported in the game, in case you like to get competitive with friends.
I’m still in the early stages of Perchang, but so far I am loving every second of it. The game looks gorgeous with the minimalist aesthetic, the music is immersive and calming, controls are easy enough for everyone, and the puzzles are challenging enough to make you really use your brain. Plus, the addition of the countdown makes it a true test. I just hope to maybe see more levels coming in future updates, as well as considering changing the countdown so that it only starts after a button is pressed. Other than that, Perchang is a fantastic physics-based contraption machine puzzle game.
I highly recommend Perchang to anyone who loves contraptions, physics, and puzzles. This is a great addition to any game collection. You can get Perchang on the App Store as a universal download for the iPhone and iPad for just $1.99. There are no in-app purchases.