In indie puzzler Wayout, your aim is simple; turn all of the tiles on the board white. Clicking on a tile, either by tapping on the touchscreen or by using the left joystick and A, flips all adjacent tiles (with the exception of diagonal tiles) over, meaning that you have to strategically plan your approach to each puzzle in order to reach the solution in the optimal number of moves.
As you progress, various “special” tiles come into play, each of which has a unique effect on their surrounding tiles, making reaching solutions that little bit harder. Some, for instance, mean that only the two tiles on either side in a particular direction will be flipped. Others mean that unless you’re clicking on the tile in question, its state will not change no matter which tiles around it you click on. You’ll have to carefully work around and with these tiles when crafting your solutions, or else end up stuck.
While figuring out the solutions to Wayout‘s puzzles can be tough, there are no punishments to fear; players are free to retry levels as many times as necessary in order to beat them. Perhaps some of the game’s best features are its instant restart and rewind buttons, which can be activated using Y and B respectively, or by clicking on the on-screen options.
These features allow for truly stress-free gameplay, and if a mistake is made, you can easily undo it rather than having to remember how you got to that point, and starting from scratch. You’re not just limited to undoing the last move you have made, either; you can rewind right to the beginning of your attempt if you wish to.
In terms of presentation, Wayout is a soothing game. Its graphical style is vibrant and charming, with brightly-coloured backgrounds contrasting against the two-tone puzzle boards. The accompanying background music is equally chilled, creating a relaxing atmosphere in which you can lose yourself while playing. While a greater number of tracks would be appreciated, as the same few loop endlessly, it is difficult to complain; the gameplay is at the forefront of the experience, and this is satisfying enough to keep you hooked.
Though perfectly playable in both handheld and docked, handheld is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best way to experience Wayout. The touchscreen controls are incredibly intuitive and easy-to-use, and with the rewind button ready and waiting should you need it, even fat-thumbing the wrong tile is of no consequence. It is a much slower and more frustrating experience to try and select tiles with the joystick, and there is little benefit to using a larger screen considering the simplistic graphic design.
There are very few complaints to make with regard to the technical side of things. The game runs well, is easy to learn, and is perfectly suited to the portable format of the Switch. Just be careful to press down hard on the correct tile if playing handheld, as sometimes it seems there is a slight delay to the touchscreen input detection.
Overall, if you’re looking for a chilled, enjoyable puzzler to spruce up your Switch library, you can’t go wrong with Wayout. It’s affordable, aesthetically pleasing, and offers challenging puzzles in a highly accessible format, with no stress or punishment for not using the optimal number of moves. If only there were more puzzles to seek your teeth into…
Wayout is a simplistic puzzler with charm, and a concept that is uniquely gratifying once the perfect answer becomes known to you. Although short on content, its low price is more than justified.