Eliss Infinity review: A frenetic and engaging puzzle games for iOS
Eliss Infinity is a follow-up to (or rather, an enhanced version of) the original Eliss. It’s elegant in its own way, although self-consciously retro in appearance: all raw pixels, plain lines and flat colors, like a pastel-tinged Asteroids.
But restful? Forget that. Beyond the first few levels of the standard Odyssey mode, Eliss Infinity is a frenetic multitasking seizure of a game, with your fingers dancing madly across the screen like overworked spiders. (It’s perhaps indicative that the game displayed an error message more than once, saying, “I can only handle up to 5 fingers at the same time.”)
The earlier Asteroids comparison holds for the premise, which (for lack of any explanation in the game itself) I had to assemble from the description on the App Store. You’re sorting and destroying planets, apparently.
Vividly colored planets appear from time to time, sometimes slowly, often in a mad rush, and seemingly at random. You can then move them around the screen with a finger swipe, bump them into other planets of the same color to make them meld into a single larger planet, or split them into smaller planetoids by doing an unpinch gesture.
If two planets of different colors touch, jagged red isobars appear and your health bar drops. Your job is to keep the different colors apart and to create planets of the right size to pop into the little bobbly-eye mouths called “squeesars” that make them disappear. The squeesars are colour-specific, too.
That’s pretty much it, other than a handful of astral hazards, such as storms that hurt you if they bump into any planets at all, and cyclones that drag things into them and generally make a mess. But these simple ingredients, delivered pell-mell along a finely graded difficulty curve, make for a gaming experience that is best described as stressful. At any given moment there are approximately 78 things that require your attention, and, for reasons of sanity as well as the limitations of multitouch, you can only deal with five at a time.
Eliss Infinity has a new Infinity mode, where you compete freestyle to get as many points as possible (as opposed to aiming for a set of objectives). There’s also a more chilled-out mode called Spacebox, where you create the planets yourself and riff around happily without worrying about points or dangers.
It took a few levels to get what Eliss Infinity is all about, but it’s a definite grower. The action is simple but incredibly mentally engaging, and the look and feel are perhaps unique. The rawness of the graphics jars somewhat, and it can be frustrating at times, but Eliss Infinity is well worth a look.