Splice is an intriguingly intricate puzzle game from Cipher Prime Studios. Originally released in 2012 for PC and mobile platforms, this version marks the title's debut on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, with a Vita release possible somewhere down the line. The game tasks you with re-arranging cells – which look like really large vitamin capsules – into pre-determined shapes, while trying not to exceed a set number of moves (or splices, as the game refers to them).
As you progress through the title's 77 levels – which are broken up into eleven different 'sequences', each consisting of seven stages apiece – new mechanics will be introduced. You'll then have to contend with cells that multiply, extend, and destroy themselves, and these different types will be combined as you edge towards the end, keeping you on your toes. That's an impressive feat, as the game starts off pretty challenging as it is.
This difficulty is both the release's greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The learning curve is good because it forces you to understand how its systems work – a perfect puzzle for a puzzle game. However, this won't appeal to everyone, and being forced to think several steps ahead can be stressful. Fortunately, there's a rewind feature, allowing you to undo and redo moves until you're satisfied with their outcome. This is key, as without it, the title would be pretty tedious.
Outside of that, though, there's not really an enormous amount to say about it. This is a puzzle title that exists purely to boggle the mind, and subsequently, it has a very minimal user interface. In addition to the stripped back aesthetic, it also makes great use of colour, using calming shades to keep you relaxed as you butt your brain against the puzzles. These light colours pair perfectly with Dain Saint's piano-based soundtrack, which is quite calming.
For those of you that have played the game before, this is largely the same experience. The DualShock 4's motion controls have been implemented – the axis from which you view the cells shifts ever so slightly when you move the controller – but it doesn't really alter the affair in any meaningful way. As such, you may want to consider how much you enjoyed the original before you double dip.
While it may have been released a couple of years ago now, the newest version of Splice looks and feels like it belongs on the PS4. Its minimalistic looks belie a real head scratching experience, which will push your brain to its absolute limits. It can be a little tricky to get into – and even then, it probably won't be for everyone – but give it a chance, and you'll find a delightfully challenging experience. Plus, if the game stresses you out too much, you can just sit back and listen to the wonderfully calming soundtrack.