SiNKR by developer Robert Wahler constitutes a good minimalist puzzle game. From truly great level designs to soothing music scores, SiNKR excels at incorporating the constituent elements of its genre into the fabric of its gameplay. Offering a relaxed experience with no timers or move counters, SiNKR allows players to lavish their full attention onto the puzzle facing them. SiNKR also nails the difficulty progression of its levels, starting out slow but quickly working its way to simultaneously being complicated and fun. At its current price of $1, SiNKR is a great value and is definitely worth playing.
SiNKR opens very slowly, allowing players time to adjust to the game’s mechanics. The gameplay is revealed to center around moving pucks into holes using hooks. The hooks only move in one direction and cannot return to their original positions once they have been reeled in close to the holes, which serves as the operative limiting factor that makes the game challenging. Some holes take more than one puck to fill, while all hooks are able to collect more than one puck at any given moment. While those with completionist tendencies do not need to worry about succeeding in a certain finite number of moves, all players must be strategic or else they will have to redo the puzzles.
The aspect of the puzzler that really shines is its great, handcrafted level design. SiNKR really succeeds in striking a balance between stimulating and frustrating players. Whenever players figure out a creative solution to a level, they are immediately gratified by the effort that they put in. SiNKR feels smart and really encourages exploration within its individual levels.
The game mechanics become more sophisticated as players progress through the levels. While they begin by just being able to pull on hooks, soon players gain the abilities to horizontally or vertically flip the side of the hook and to connect hooks together. Linking hooks allows players to advance their hooks to parts of the levels previously inaccessible due to their original positioning, adding initially unexpected flavor to SiNKR. The game never allows for a mechanic to become stale or monotonous, instead introducing new ones before players have the chance to grow disinterested.
The music that is played in the background of each level really enhances the gaming experience. It encapsulates the tranquil yet thought-provoking feel that is at the essence of the SiNKR. The ambient music fits perfectly with the niche that SiNKR fills, really elevating the game.
Even though SiNKR only takes between one and two hours to complete, it is really worth investing in. The thought put into each level is readily apparent, making players utilize visual as opposed to textual learning to become accustomed to new gameplay mechanics. Full controller support and touch screen compatibility only further enhance a great game. SiNKR is worth picking up, and that is reflected in its score of 8/10.
Watch the SiNKR Trailer:
SiNKR is available for PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.