Induction Review

Time Travel. Paradoxes. Induction challenges you to consider these mind-bending constructs and more across its many levels. Described as an abstract puzzle game meant to rewire how you consider cause and effect, Induction is a headache-inducing experience that’s equal parts rewarding and frustrating.

Each of Induction’s meticulously designed levels works to further your understanding of the game’s internal logic. Things start simple enough, with a few well-crafted introductory levels teaching you the basics. You play as a cube, the aim of the game to reach the end of each stage by overcoming objects in your path. This could entail moving objects to activate a bridge or using said objects as a platform to access out of reach areas. Movement maps simply to the analogue stick, and further abilities are highlighted as necessary. None of the basic abilities is a struggle to figure out, which goes a long way toward making the game incredibly accessible as you begin. Naturally, levels become harder as you progress, but it’s the introduction of further abilities where things become slightly frustrating.

Don’t worry, it’s more complicated than it looks.

The central mechanic of the game is that holding down the A button essentially warps you to the past. In doing so, two versions of yourself are presented on screen. Your past version follows the same path of movement you’ve just performed, whilst you’re still in full control of your time travelling variant. It’s an intelligent mechanic that really makes you consider how you approach each puzzle, as movements in the past affect the future and vice-versa. As you progress further into the game, you even gain the ability to warp into your past self. In essence, this presents brand new ways to attempt puzzle solving, but a lack of explanation as to how this feature works causes problems.

There’s a shift in the way you complete stages once this ability is introduced that isn’t indicated in any way, and even after completing these puzzles the way forward isn’t immediately clear. As a result, Induction’s hands-off approach works both for and against it. The lack of any real direction does make solving the puzzles feel that much more rewarding, yet an indication as to how some of the late-game mechanics work would go a long way to making the game more approachable.

Timelines must split to make this work.

Induction’s simple aesthetic may cause some to write it off. This would be unfortunate since it works entirely in the game’s favour. The puzzles get so complex that the simplicity of the design allows you to focus solely on figuring out what you need to do. There are no distracting bells and whistles and the soft colour palette and minimalist visuals, combined with the soothing soundtrack, present a calming tone that immerses you in the gameplay.

Time Warp or Mind Warp?

Induction is an enjoyable puzzler, slightly held back by its insistence on being so hands-off. Whilst the simple look and feel of the game create a calming atmosphere, allowing you to while away the hours chipping away at each puzzle, the lack of any real guidance as new gameplay mechanics are introduced work against this design. The time-shifting mechanic is an ingenious way to approach level design, causing the player to look both forward and back to consider the effect of their movements. As such this isn’t a game for puzzle novices, requiring a level of critical thinking that some might find off-putting for a game. However, put in the time and effort and you’ll take part in a truly rewarding experience that doesn’t hold back.

Induction £6.19


Induction encourages players to consider cause and effect in each of its carefully crafted, time-bending puzzles. Though some mechanics could have used some explanation, it’s certainly no puzzle that fans of the genre should give this game a go.