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Xbox One Game Review



Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Marker Limited
Developer: Marker Limited
RRP: £12.99
Click here to buy from Xbox Marketplace
Age Restrictions: 3+
Release Date: 07 February 2018

While playing in the park, Zee follows a squirrel through a portal to a world of echoes, inhabited by a shadow child. Surrounded by the unknown and trapped in a series of realms both confusing and dangerous, the youngsters must avoid slipping into the pool between dimensions, embarking on a voyage of discovery and awakening they share with the player, up and down staircases, through light and dark, across the upside-down and the right side-up to their eventual freedom...

Review imageSamsara is a reflective puzzle game in which players guide an innocent child, Zee, safely to the exit by dropping blocks with different shapes and properties into a world of two dimensions separated by a pool that mirrors placements. Deceptively simple mechanics conceal complex interactions involving positioning, pathfinding, gravity, balance, redirection and teleportation, with Samsara’s significant twist: everything added in the upside down world of Zee’s mysterious shadow below reflects in the world above.

The idea behind Samsara is pretty simple, but £13 seemed a little expensive for such a relatively basic puzzle game. It feels more like a tablet app than a game that works on a console.

In total there are 77 levels across 6 hand-detailed realms. You have a block that Zee is stood on and an exit. From the blocks available you must place them in such a way that you can walk safely to the exit. If you fall then you die and have to start again. There's no limit to the number of attempts you have.

Review imageThe additional challenge comes with the reflective element of the levels. You can place the blocks so that you're using their reflection as a safe pathway. Even some of the easy levels will have you scratching your head trying to fathom where to place the blocks and there's a real sense of achievement as you manage to complete a level that's been confounding you for a while. Later in the game, new types of block reflections may behave “unusually” under gravity.

To add an extra challenge there are a number of environmental interactions including falling stones, and thorns which grow on contact with Zee’s echo but shrivel at Zee’s own touch, allowing timed block movements to be set up.

While it's fun, I'm not sure how much life this game will have. It's one of those releases that you'll give up once you get to a level you're completely stuck on... or you could cheat and do an Internet search for walkthroughs.


Nick Smithson

Review image

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£15 Xbox Live Credits