What is the concept? Originally released for OS and Android devices in 2010, Slice It! makes good on its moniker, tasking 3DS owners with cutting a succession of shapes into equal portions. Each of the game’s 140 levels has two directives: cut each form into a predetermined number of pieces and use all of your available slices. As with any respectable puzzler, the first few stages act as a tutorial while later levels require some cerebral calisthenics- especially if players hope to revive a flawless three-star ranking on each conundrum.
Play is conducted with the 3DS held sideways, like a book with the stylus acting as your scalpel as you dissect shapes against a backdrop that simulates graph paper. Each cut has to extend from one outside edge to another; Slice It! has no patience for undersized lacerations. Beyond the main campaign, the title also extends a mode entitled Slice It! Quick where players see how many puzzles they can complete in a half-minute time span.
What are the game’s strengths? Largely, Slice It! is a proficient port of the mobile title, and takes advantage of the 3DS’s interface. Instead of inelegantly making two finger gestures on the touchscreen, using the stylus to draw divisions feels instinctive. Occasionally, you can begin a cut that’s a pixel or two off your intended mark. yu using the circle pad you can fine tune your cutting line, endowing players with a bit more precision.
Certainly, Slice It!’s core concept is commendable. Scanning an object for oversized areas and calculating the ideal cutting angle to dissect the zone never seems exceedingly difficult- even when you’re trying to match the expanse of triangles with quadrilaterals. And there’s something intrinsically satisfying about applying even a fleeting familiarity with geometry to the game. Fortunately, for those inevitable moments when do get stuck, there’s plenty of way to bypass adversity. Fans of brute force can count the number of squares in the background, while the impatience can skip the stage and revisit it later. For those obsessed with beating the brainteaser, every previous success grants players hint tokens which can be applied to reveal a multi-part solution. Commoditizing the answer proves to be an elegant way to offer help to those who really want it.
What are the game’s weaknesses? Sporadically, when you’ve slicing up a shape, there will be a pixel-sized splinter that the game assumes is a portion. All too often, this will result in a demoralizing ‘instafail’ with the game assuming you cut one too many pieces. Although the title offers the ability to undo your last cleave, the abrupt conclusion can feel off-putting- especially when you think you made a surgical-quality dissection. When it happens, you’ll be wondering why developer COM2US didn’t just overlook any tiny shavings.
The other drawback stems from Slice It!’s price. While the game offers enough puzzles to keep players content for several play sessions, it’s hard to look past the game’s price on other platforms. On phones and tablets, the game can be had for a dollar- or even free if players don’t mind seeing ads run on the bottom of the screen. Although the pleasure of playing the game on the 3DS’s twin screens is undeniable, justifying the six-fold increase in cost is problematic.
Is it worth the price? Despite the differential between the mobile and 3DS prices, Slice It! might still be worth its six dollar ante if you don’t have another device to play it on. But given the proliferation of phones and tablets in recent years, you most likely already own a few devices that can offer a perfectly proficient rendition of the game. Had COM2US added new stages or modes, an eShop purchase would be advocated.
Slice It! was played on the Nintendo 3DS with review code provided by the publisher.
Platform: 3DS, previously on Android, iOS
Developer: COM2US, Arc System Works
Publisher: Aksys Games
Release date: January 14th, 2016
Price: $5.99 via the Nintendo eShop