Being a castaway is no fun, but that’s because you don’t have any games to play. Under the Sun pits you as a castaway whose goal is to traverse the island to reach the campfire before nightfall. Every new day presents a unique island and consequent challenge depicted with a finely polished 3D cube based landscape. It’s not just a 3D puzzle game, but rather 4D thanks to the introduction of time. You have a specific number of moves to make in each level, and each move corresponds to the passage of time.
Under the Sun features over 50 different levels, and there’s a continuous introduction of new mechanics. The world changes as you move so that trees grow, animals move, bridges collapse, the water rises, and more. You need to take time into account to think how the world will react to each step you take. There are a lot of puzzle elements to contend with in each level, and it’s great to see a solution come together. Any given level has one right way to move, and you need to use the elements in the environment to your advantage. For example, a turtle may need to push a block on to a spot where a tree will rise to lift the rock up, so that you can push the rock into the gap between the castaway and the firepit. That’s just one instance, but many levels work in a similar way, so that you will be constantly challenged, and sometimes left scratching your head.
One of the best parts of Under the Sun is the inclusion of a slider on the right side of the screen. If you fail, you can simply rewind time, step by step, to try out different moves to see if the change leads to a solution. The time rewind mechanic is perfectly suited for Under the Sun, so that you can keep experimenting, rather than just restarting at the beginning. The game is definitely on the challenging side, so it helps to have a friendly mechanic to redo just a single move. No matter how tough it gets, Under the Sun is still a compelling challenge that will keep you playing. There are times when you will be stumped, but you always have six levels at a time to switch between, and you only need to complete three to unlock the next level pack. There’s also a single in-app purchase to remove ads in between level packs.
Under the Sun (Free, Universal) delivers a true puzzler that will keep your mind activated and engaged making it well worth picking up.