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Perfection Review: Is It Within Reach?
Platform: PC (Steam), iPhone, iPad, Android
Release Date: 17 May 2013
Developer: Dumb And Fat Games
Perfection is a game about minimalism. There are no menus, no options and no tutorial – you are thrown right into your first game as soon as you open it up. Even the game itself is about cutting off the extra fat as you slice shapes to fit into the template you’re given. Overall, the main idea of the game is to relax you. There isn’t any points system besides scoring either “Success” or “Perfection” when you finish a shape, and you are not timed. There isn’t even a level selector, as all the shapes seem to be randomly generated and infinite, so there’s no pressure to progress or complete anything. You can also easily generate a new shape at will and undo any move you made without penalization. There’s quite a large margin for failure too, and you often get a ‘Perfection’ score for a misshapen blob that is sticking out of the template like it’s trying to escape. This suits the casual aspect of the game, but then, they really shouldn’t have called it Perfection.
There are several modes in Perfection that add new levels to gameplay, and you can swap freely between them whenever you want. One level adds the ability to rotate shapes so that you have to match the angles to the template before you start chopping, and the highest level involves being able to make the shape smaller or larger. The final difficulty level can actually be quite hard, as it is somewhat tough to figure out where to start. The controls are very smooth, though the fact that both rotating and resizing are controlled by right-clicking can be annoying, since resizing the shape will automatically change to the direction you drag in, even if you didn’t want it to. The only UI comes from the small tab at the bottom of the screen that pops up when you hover over it and allows you to generate a new shape or change the game difficulty.
The overall style of Perfection gives it quite a niche appeal. Plenty of gamers have become accustomed to action-style games where they are rewarded for being faster and more efficient, so a lot of people may be left wondering what the ‘point’ of the game is. Perfection is not the kind of game where you sit and play for hours on end with your face glued to the screen, as even with the multiple game modes the gameplay just isn’t exciting enough to keep you plastered in your chair for very long. It’s the kind of game that you pick up every once in a while and just chill out for half an hour, engrossed in the soothing music and soft pastel colors. After that, you can go back to being screamed at by your teammates in your favorite FPS until you need another dose.
The main problem with Perfection is that it fails at the message it is trying to send out. It quickly becomes apparent that the game is trying to say that we don’t need all these menus and options and stuff, but kind of demonstrates that maybe we do. Is the sound too loud or quiet? Tough, there’s no sound option. Can’t figure out what the weird mouse motions on the screen are trying to tell you to do? Oh well. It doesn’t even tell you that you can hit space bar instead of going through the tab to request a new shape. Sure, maybe a lot of games have too many features now, but Perfection proves that they were put in there for a reason at least.
Really, there are other games that do Perfection’s job better. The colors and sounds may be atmospheric, but I don’t see how the easily boring gameplay is meant to add to the relaxation. Just because a game has a points system, doesn’t mean that you can’t chill out; being able to see your score light up can sometimes be refreshing too. It is quite cheap, but it seems much better suited for the mobile platform and just doesn’t have any universal spark.
Check out the trailer here: