Platforms: Android, iPhone
Cipher Prime Studious is best known for music games like Pulse and Auditorium, but with Splice it has swapped music for cells to create this quirky puzzle game that's available on both iOS and Android (we tested it on the latter).
In Splice you're shown an outline of a sequence of cells and have a limited number of moves, or splices, in which to arrange the cells into the structure. As the game progresses new elements are introduced. For example, some of the cells that put in an appearance in later levels can trigger the creation of new cells as well as causing mutations that kill off or add child strands.
Also, although you have a limited number of splices in which to complete each sequence, on some sequences there's an angelic splice that lets you complete the sequence in less moves than are actually available to you.
If you do end up running out of splices before completing a sequence all is not lost as there's a slider bar on the right hand side of the screen that allows you to rewind the work you've carried out. So if you realise you've made a mistake on your cell selection, you can just grab this bar and move backwards in time to return to the point where you were before you made the error.
The game's presentation takes a very science-y and futuristic looking approach. The cell structures float in space and you can manipulate the view slightly by titling your phone back and forth, which is a neat effect. The music is a little bit different too. It's basically one long piano piece that adds a nice cerebral vibe to the game and is a refreshing change from the sort of ambient synth workouts that usually accompany these kinds of puzzlers.
Splice isn’t the easiest game in the world to get to grips with as it lacks a tutorial to explain even the game's most fundamental features. Instead it just tries to teach you as you go along, something it's not hugely successful at. Also, if you get stuck on a puzzle there isn't really anyway back from that, beyond retracing your steps and trying again.
Splice has a neat, science-y take on the puzzle genre and it really is possible to get very engrossed in working out the steps to solving each puzzle. It's beautifully designed too, and the music is very fitting. However, it's not the easiest game to pick up and play and if you get stuck there isn’t really any help at hand.