It’s difficult to describe Perloo without giving it all away. When you boil it all down to the basics you can say Perloo is a brief yet gruelling puzzler which forces you to use all of the brain power you can muster. This is the first self-published title by developers Perceptor and we can see from their debut title that Perceptor wish to push gamers out of their comfort zone and into something new.
Imagine you have been given a puzzle box which transforms into something new with each layer and imagine each puzzle requires you to use a different part of your body, from your hands to your eyes and maybe even your feet, then yeah, you kind of have Perloo. The gameplay consists of a series of difficult and surreal puzzles, Perceptor give you absolutely no instructions so it is up to you to figure out what you have to do. Throughout the game you will find yourself utilising every feature your mobile device has, even the camera; One puzzle involves a light prism where you have to provide the light in order to solve the puzzle, another puzzle requires you to rotate your device in order to traverse a maze which shifts depending on which way you’re holding said device.
Perloo is bookended by two live-action video segments, yeah; an actual video with an actual human being in it: we were surprised too. The game’s intro prompts some very philosophical questions such as ‘Where do we find ourselves?’ among some others. It’s a bit deep for a mobile puzzler that can take 30 minutes to finish. We weren’t quite sure what Perceptor were getting at with this narrative but we can certainly label it as ‘avant-garde’ and ‘out there’. Overall the video segments don’t really do the game any favours, it is a little jarring and distracts from the game’s atmosphere. Speaking of which; the music and sound by Ella Empress and the Layers of Reality create an ominous ambience which goes perfectly to the sound of the mental cogs in your head turning.
Overall Perloo feels like a test, albeit quite the pleasant test. In a way it feels like less of a game and more of an experiment or a form of art. The puzzles are thought provoking and the fact that it comes with absolutely no instruction only adds to the diabolical hoops your mind has to jump through. We wish more games can utilise mobile devices like Perloo does. However this praise comes with a catch and that comes with the length. This game can be cleared in half an hour maximum and doesn’t really come with much of a replay value unless you want to be top of the leaderboard. That said, we would recommend you keep it stored on your devices so you can give it to a friend and watch them squirm. Perloo is free until 27 February so we would you recommend you pick it up now rather than later.