Georifters takes a new approach to the 2D block puzzler. Instead of digging through blocks like in Lode Runner or simply pushing blocks like in Sokoban, Georifters is about platform manipulation, often moving several blocks in one chunk. It is an interesting concept and there are a few hundred levels if this type of puzzle games is your thing.
Multiple characters create a diverse roster but most must be unlocked before use, even when playing multiplayer. The main character, Candy, can pull blocks with her sticky gum. The creepy looking fire chief puts out fires with chocolate and can flip blocks. The music guy can lift blocks. Each character does something slightly differently which keeps the puzzling gameplay fresh. Perhaps the coolest feature is there are multiple ways to solve each stage, allowing for player freedom and versatility.
The entire presentation is built around candy. Each block, character, and enemy has some relationship to sweets, desserts, or bubble gum. Unfortunately, the visuals are generic at best and are little more than simple blocks. However, each block is colored to indicate its interactivity. Red glowing blocks are lava, for example, so don’t jump on them or moveable blocks can be pushed into them to be destroyed, clearing a new path. Eventually enemies start to appear throughout the campaign; take too much damage and you’ll have to restart. This creates more of a reaction-based action vibe as opposed to solving straight puzzles. Holding the “A” button also resets the player back to the starting spawn point but doesn’t reset the level as this feature is designed into the puzzle solving. Normally restarting creates a brand new attempt but here it is an important part of solving specific puzzles which is pretty cool.
For a game based around manipulating blocks, play control is annoyingly inaccurate. Movement is stiff and unresponsive, which is cumbersome when trying to land that double jump or move that one specific block. The single player option presents the player with one puzzle after another, mostly based within a single screen, tasking the player to collect a series of orbs before moving onto the next section. Puzzles can be tackled in local multiplayer and there is also a competitive mode if you have a few friends that enjoy moving blocks. With over 300 stages and numerous characters, there is plenty of replay value here to justify the $30 price tag for this digital download.
Although it provides some new ideas to the old block pushing puzzler genre, Georifters still feels low budget. The presentation is lacking, and delayed controls never feel right, and the humor is so dry it would have been better if it was removed altogether. There are tons of levels here and even a built-in Achievement system but there is only so much block pushing that can be done before repetition and boredom appear. Best played in short bursts or with a friend, there is plenty of content here but gameplay is only as good as the block you are manipulating.
Also Try: Burgertime
Don’t Forget About: Dig Dug: Digging Strike (DS)
Push More Blocks In: Cyber Protocol (Switch)