'Atomic Breeze' Is A Very Cool Puzzle Game At IndieCade East 2016

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IndieCade East 2016 runs April 29 - May 1 IndieCade

Atomic Breeze is neat. The valence electron inspired puzzler tasks players with redirecting atoms flowing on an airstream by using small directional arrows. It doesn't lends itself to a simple description, but it is a delightfully simple game and one of my favorites from IndieCade East this year.

Like most of the titles in the Show And Tell exhibit at IndieCade East 2016,  Atomic Breeze is a one man project fueled by spare time. Creator Miguel Larreynaga designed it as part of his thesis, but continues to tinker with it in the hopes of getting it ready for a full release.

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Feel the flow. Photo: Miguel Larrenyaga

He told me he really wants to get it on mobile, and if he can I think he'd have a potential hit on his hands. I really wanted to just touch the screen and drag and drop the pieces around. Fine tuning the atom flow is satisfying the way a good puzzler should be, and watching the misfired particles gather in corners and float about gives a sense of consequence. Things can get messy, but once you restore order and drop the particles in the goal you feel like you really did achieve something.

The puzzle challenge comes from goal placement and limited redirection buttons. So the first couple levels you're just moving particles toward an open goal. Then it's behind some walls, and you need to use a lot of redirects. Then you have a limited number of redirects, and so on. Larreynaga only has 13 levels complete so far, but I really would've liked about 1300 more.

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Limited moves add another layer to the challenge. Photo: Miguel Larrenyaga

There is an underlying theme of chemistry education, too. When you complete a level you unlock collectible atoms and molecules as trophies. Personally, I would like to see this game avoid siloing itself in a specific genre because the fundamental mechanics already feel polished to a level of mass appeal. And, ultimately, I just wish I could play this game on my phone on the subway which is the highest praise I can give a mobile title, really. No word on any official release, but we’ll keep you updated on when this nifty IndieCade East 2016 gem is available.

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