Bewildebots from Jadeus Games
Bewildebots from Jadeus Games is – initially, at least – a deceptively simple puzzle game featuring a wealth of levels spread over several chapters and across three different size variants. Though it appears quite basic in its early stages, as it unravels, the cleverness of its core principle begins to emerge: careful planning and cautious process of elimination are needed to succeed.
Like Herding Robot Cats
The premise of Bewildebots is that the player must guide several robots across a grid, one tile at a time, to goals marked by circular booths. So far, so simple. The caveat is that all of the robots respond to the player’s commands simultaneously, and there is no way to provide instructions to individual robots. Leaving the edge of the board or guiding two or more robots into the same tile will destroy the affected machines, forcing a restart of the current puzzle.
I found this basic system to be straight forward to learn and engagingly tough once the game started to throw interesting twists at me. There are three basic game types that dictate the size of the grid to be played on: 5×5, 7×7 and 9×9. Each of these types has five chapters to play through, amounting to three hundred levels. Plenty of puzzling to keep the challenge going.
Building Toward Bewildering
While Bewildebots is initially quite easy, I did find the puzzles soon scaled up in both scope and difficulty; each chapter hurls a new feature into the mix, like teleporters or panels that push individual robots in new directions (independent of their fellow robots). These new mechanics and the addition of more and more robots makes some of the levels quite tricky.
This difficulty is mitigated somewhat by the ability to undo each turn and, while this is a desirable quality of life addition, it can make it a little too easy to isolate a solution through a process of elimination. That being said, I think it could easily become frustrating if this feature was absent, and so I can understand the developers leaving it in place. Perhaps an option to switch this feature off would be beneficial?
This leads onto my main criticism of Bewildebots; despite the sizable quantity of levels included, the game could do with more modes and features to flesh out its offering. A hard mode or perhaps some sort of multiplayer would make for an exciting addition. Perhaps Bewildebots will grow in the future, but for now, it is a very generous package of levels with very few bells and whistles.
The soundtrack of Bewildebots is similarly stunted; a single piece of music permeates the game, and while it is perfectly serviceable for providing a little ambiance to the relentless puzzling, it does eventually wear out its welcome.
The visual aesthetics are also held back by an absence in variety; there may be five chapters per grid size, but they tend to look relatively similar and are bound by the same single design theme.
Bewildebots is a generous offering of puzzles built around the concept of providing single commands to groups of units simultaneously. The sheer number of levels is appealing, but sadly the game doesn’t quite offer enough to keep things engaging over a significant period of time. All that being said, puzzle fans looking for a few brain teasers will find Bewildebots to be a fun distraction.
Bewildebots is available via the App Store, Google Play and Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Bewildebots below: