The world is lost. Humanity, and every other living organism has been erased. Did God accidently hit the delete button, or did two pudgy men with big mouths and itchy fingers decide this bleak fate for all of us? I am not sure, but it is up to you and your fast wits to bring it all back! Nuclien is a touch based puzzle game from the minds of Springloaded. Across 77 challenging levels, you must tap numbers in various sequences to restore different DNA strains of key lifeforms. Are you up to such a grand task?
Initially Nuclien was a mobile paid phone game that had great response from players. With that response, Springloaded knew that they could have further the success on consoles if only there were a fitting platform. After scrapping a planned Vita port, the Switch became that new home. For roughly $4, Nuclien is an incredibly entertaining time killer, that is easy to learn and hard to master. I had not paid much attention to its upcoming release, and I am really glad that Springloaded reached out to me, because I might have missed this budget friendly puzzler. Now that I have got to play it, I’ll pass on the good word on why YOU should not miss it.
Nuclien is simple enough. Numbers appear on screen, surrounded by either a square or a circle. In the first set of levels, the numbers will appear and you may touch them (getting rid of them) in any order you desire. In the second set, numbers with circles will appear, and you have to touch them in descending numerical value, so from 9 to 0. In the third world you must do the opposite, increasing in value from 0 to 9, and these numbers are covered by squares. The fourth world sees you battling these two concepts simultaneously, which really puts your brain and reaction time to the test. There is a fifth world that unlocks too, should you be good enough to master all previous worlds.
Each level gets more challenging as you go on, with time and overthinking being your main factors. You have a time bar that goes down with each passing moment, slightly refilling upon getting rid of one of the numbers. Hit one in the wrong sequence, however, and it will go down dramatically quicker. You earn some currency upon completion of each level though, which allows you to upgrade two different stats: Knowledge Earned (your currency) and another that extends your time limits. Both are helpful for progressing. As far as overthinking goes, sometimes you will see larger numbers on screen (in size, not value) these ones, when pressed, break into four different numbers. So this can toss you up when you are in the zone, as it often drops numbers with values you have already passed in your sequence. Say you are going in descending order and have just 3,2,1, and 0 on your screen. After tapping the large “3”, you now have 9,8,5,2,2,1, and 0 on the screen. While you may instinctively go on to press the 2, you would be wrong, as there are now higher value numbers on screen that were not there before. This keeps you on your toes and enriches the challenge.
Visually the game has a minimalistic approach, with subtle shades and basic numeric symbols on screen. It works for the title, never branching out to be too flashy which could be distracting in such a game. The music is also pretty catchy, and I often found myself bobbing to the beat as I tapped along. For $4, it’s a damn fun puzzler. You don’t want to blink and miss this one. It gives you fun in short bursts, and physically and mentally challenges you in ways other Switch games just won’t. Mind and body are one in Nuclien, and it is up to you and only you to make sure the rest of existence gets brought back. Good luck, you’ll need it.
Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 8/10
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