Minimalism. The philosophy sparks joy in some. In many ways, SiNKR 2 reflects that joy. Developer Robert Wahler puts minimalism on a pedestal here, trimming out all the fat to leave players with the raw goods: puzzles. The simple design conveys the rules of the game pretty well, leading to a no-fuss experience. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking yet simple puzzle game on the cheap, SiNKR 2 should be on your shortlist.

If it ain’t broke

sinkr 2 puzzle 1

This may look complex at first, but after a few minutes with the easier puzzles, it all starts to make more sense.

SiNKR 2 presents you with a simple task: Put the pucks in the holes. Square pucks only fit in square holes, while circular ones can go in any hole. Various hooks litter the board, all of them attached to lines. You reel in these hooks to catch the pucks, guiding them to their goals. Later levels introduce other mechanics, like portals and boost pads, but the objective always remains the same. Those who played the previous game probably noticed that nothing has changed, but that doesn’t make the sequel bad. In this case, the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra applies well.

In many ways, SiNKR 2 plays a lot like its predecessor, but one new feature on the user interface stands out. While you’re in the middle of a puzzle, you’ll notice a visual element to the right that tracks your progress. Considering how popular road maps are in the games (as a service) industry, this progress tracker is a welcome addition, providing more context in the big picture. Furthermore, the interface also gives you an idea of how difficult the current puzzle is, according to the developer. One-star stages are often pretty easy, but three-star stages will likely make you scratch your head. It’s at least comforting knowing the intended difficulty so you don’t feel as dumb when a harder level stumps you.

A reel puzzle

sinkr 2 puzzle 2

This puzzle looks deceptively simple, and it might take more tries than you think!

Compared to its predecessor, the challenge in SiNKR 2 feels more cranked up across the board. The heightened difficulty serves to make for a better, more mentally engaging sequel. More often than not, a puzzle will make you sit and think for a few minutes, taunting you with every passing moment. The game’s simplicity challenges you to beat it; after all, with such basic rules, there’s no way you can let it remain unsolved.

Some puzzles can be visually overwhelming, but that only encourages you to experiment. Your first attempt might be fruitless, but nothing stops you from trying again. You might need to retry some stages many times. Luckily, you always learn something new with each run, bringing you ever closer to the solution.

Those extra tough levels are where SiNKR 2 shines brightest. The core of this game’s identity lies in those moments when you try new theories to see what clicks. When your carefully thought out strategies work, the inherent reward of solving a puzzle is satisfying on its own.

However, some of the puzzles toward the end of the game can get too complex, to a frustrating degree. They require so many steps to complete, and when you mess up, you have to start over from the beginning. There’s nothing more annoying than accidentally messing up in the last moments before solving a puzzle. Something as simple as an undo button would alleviate a lot of this frustration without really skewing the difficulty.

SiNKR 2 Review | Elegant in its minimalism

sinkr 2 puzzle 3

This is a little bit past the midway point, giving you a good idea of what to expect later down the road.

Everything about the way SiNKR 2 presents itself lives up to its intended artistic vision. The design is laid out in a way that’s easy to understand. The important gameplay bits contrast well enough to be obvious. In other words, the visual language makes perfect sense. Once you’ve figured out a gimmick, you’ll instantly recognize it the moment you see it again. That clarity keeps the ball in the player’s court. If you can’t solve a puzzle, it’s because you haven’t thought it through yet, not because the game presents it in a messy or confusing way.

But in all of its straightforwardness, it’s hard to recommend the game for hardcore PC users. To be fair, this game plays well on laptops and other portable PC options. But for a big-rig desktop, it’s hard to justify sitting there to play SiNKR 2. However, the game perfectly fits quick bursts of gaming. When you’re on the go and have your phone with you, this game makes perfect sense to fill a few minutes of dead time.

All in all, this sequel gets a passing mark, succeeding beyond its predecessor. The heightened challenge helped the uncomplicated rule set blossom into something greater. Every three-star puzzle provokes your mind, even more so on the ones that have multiple solutions. With the calming melodies of Kevin MacLeod soothing your every moment, SiNKR 2 continuously provides engaging moments that keep your brain tickled across all 87 puzzles. And really, that’s all you can ask for in a well-designed puzzle game.


Our SiNKR 2 review was conducted on PC via Steam with a code provided by the developer. It is also coming to iOS and Android.

More About This Game

7.5
 

Very Good

Summary

SiNKR 2 improves on its predecessor in many ways, offering many difficult, engaging puzzles. Figuring out every solution is its own reward. On more portable devices, the game makes an excellent way to kill short bursts of time.

Pros

  • Puzzles Often Have Multiple Solutions
  • Keeps You on Your Toes

Cons

  • Minimalist Design Isn't For Everyone
  • Little Replayability

Robert Scarpinito

Staff Writer

When I'm not talking about my love of Persona, I'm probably playing or writing about games. I'm waiting for the day I can be proud of the DC cinematic universe. Catch me on Tadaima: A Terrace House Podcast for some insights on the best reality TV show on Netflix.



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