Before I begin I want to thank Qubic Games for sending us a review copy of this game.
The Switch is no stranger to puzzle games. These range from traditional Tetris-like puzzle games to puzzle platformers but Grid Mania is something a little different. Grid Mania feels a lot more like a Rubix Cube in comparison but is it just as frustrating and confusing? Let’s find out.
The Rubix Cube comparison is very apt as Grid Mania really does feel like one but with a twist. Players are presented with a grid of varying sizes and are tasked with placing the coloured balls onto their matching coloured tile. Do that with all the balls and the puzzle is complete. The Rubix Cube comparison comes in the form of how you move the pieces. Rather than individually, players can only move the entire row or column so if the player wants to move the red ball into place they may end up moving the blue ball out of place if it is the same line, and working around that is the challenge.
While a lot of early puzzles are fairly simple the game gets far more complex with multiple coloured balls to deal with, bigger grids and stationary walls that stop anything from moving. I was worried the game would be over too quickly as I breezed through a lot of the early levels but things eventually slowed down. However, there are only 52 puzzles in total and so it won’t take players more than a few hours to beat.
Thankfully the game comes with three additional modes that are of an equal length which quadruples the overall length of the game. The first and most challenging of these modes is the Quick Challenge where players have a set amount of moves to solve a puzzle. These puzzles do not have obvious solutions so it becomes very challenging. Next is Grid Madness which feels like a cross between Grid Mania and Puyo Puyo. The task this time is to fill out the board with colour and players do so by pairing up the orbs in 3’s or above. They can be connected in any shape and there is no limit to the number of turns so it is fairly easy. Lastly, you have the Chain Reaction where players have to not only get the ball on a coloured squared but every other ball of that colour needs to touching in a chain. This one varies in difficulty but because the shape of the chain doesn’t matter it leans more on the easy side.
Every mode has a time limit and a turn monitor so players can retry puzzles to try and beat their highscore, if they are that way inclined. That does it for content which may seem low but the game only cost $3.99 and what you get here is certainly serviceable for that price.
The game has a very futuristic look to it, however, it does feel very generic. The marble look of the orbs is a style seen in so many games before it and the visual style comes off as very cut and paste, like I have seen it in many games prior. That’s the biggest sin of this game, it has no identity. It looks like a game that has existed before. That said, there are no glitches and everything looks cohesive. The music is limited but pretty decent. The presentation isn’t bad just average, which sums up this game quite nicely.
Grind Mania isn’t anything special but it’s also not awful. For its price, it is a perfectly fine time-sink and while the presentation is a bit bland the game never overstayed its welcome. If you are feeling an itch for a puzzle game like I was then this game totally fills that gap but don’t expect a long-term investment. I give grid mania a 3/5.