Incidence is a beautiful and challenging minimalistic puzzle game that proves visual simplicity can successfully coexist alongside strategic complexity. It looks like a kind of golfing or billiards game, where you have to angle and shoot the ball carefully to reach the goal and advance to the next level.
There are hundred challenging levels to beat, and each level must be completed in four shots with every shot bouncing six times. And as you advance, new obstacles and tiles will unfold.
There are no out-of-this-world graphics in Incidence, but the lack of visual clutter is a deliberate choice rather than laziness of developers. And in the flow with the minimalistic aesthetic, there is no in-game music either. The game has no distractions. You just see the maze, the ball and simple sound effects that let you follow the bounces and inform you that the puzzle is completed. It allows you to maintain the high level of concentration which you will definitely need to plan the solving the game’s most challenging puzzles.
However, for a minimalist game, it runs extremely heavy. Although the game can be installed on older devices, gameplay can be incredibly glitchy and slow. While it’s compatible with devices running iOS 7.0 or later, it runs particularly sluggishly on the iPad 4 with iOS 10.0. Although it runs smoothly on iPhone 7, the device itself runs much hotter than usual.
Another minor issue is the X button in the top-right corner of the screen, which increases mysteriously the more you use it. It’s an important button that allows you to restart the level, but not that important to take up a twelfth of the screen.
The gameplay of Incidence is simple: you have to aim a ball by sliding a finger and get it to the goal in the form of a simple dot. But there is also a slight catch — the ball bounces off walls, and it bounces precisely six times each volley. Besides, you have only four moves to achieve your goal.
So the challenge is in working out the perfect angle at which the ball will make it through to the goal, around the spikes, and past the enemies which you will encounter along the way. Essentially, Incidence is just an intellectual mini-golf.
The game gives you just enough to succeed without necessarily giving it away. When you angle your first shot, a marker will show you the first bump. Beyond that, the subsequent five bumps are up to you to figure out. There is no option to toggle it to easy mode or take away the marker. If you fail following through is quick enough as there is a lone "X" in the top right to tap to restart.
The degree of difficulty doesn’t increase incrementally here. It’s pretty common when you face incredibly challenging puzzle followed by three or four easier ones. Incidence strikes enough of the right balance to keep all kind of gamers’ attention through all of its 100 levels.
Like the graphics and gameplay, the controls in Incidence are simple. At first, it’s tempting to aim and release by dragging and tapping where you want to the ball to move, but it works more like billiards.
You have to drag your finger behind the ball to set the angle of your shot and its power. The further you pull, the greater the force of the shot upon release. The guide at the end of sightline will show you the specific angle of the first bounce, and from there it’s up to you to determine the further trajectory.
Incidence has a linear progression as you are going from map to map without any story, exposition, or anything of the sort. Some levels offer choices and feel open, though.
You don’t have more than just 100 levels — no bonuses or currency to keep track of. It’s just your skills and your wits facing tough challenges. When you finish them, you are done with the game. However, Incidence is the kind of game that is fun to pick up and replay every so often.
Incidence doesn’t have any in-app purchases, so you just need to make a single payment of $1,99 to download it.
Incidence is a great challenge which makes you feel incredibly satisfied once completed. The games have the prospect of additional levels and new challenges with future updates, so you may even consider Incidence as the long-term investment.
It’s fun to learn and master the game’s rulesets, and by the time you hit 100 levels, you will feel like a pro. The core puzzle mechanics are really clever and provides a unique puzzle experience. Both the minimalistic graphics and solid gameplay work together well leaving you temporarily oblivious to your surroundings
The Bottom Line
Incidence is an artsy and fancy version of pool or mini golf that will entertain you and make you remember some boring geometry classes.
- No annoying in-game music or on-screen menus
- Unique art style
- Challenging puzzles that don't feel impossible.
- The game performs sluggishly on older devices
- The “X” button looks too big
- 100 levels still don't quite feel like enough.