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SPL-T (iOS) game review

A surprise release from the team behind indie titles Year Walk and Section 6, SPL-T is an incredibly minimalist puzzle game, both in its styling and its primary gameplay mechanic.

By developer Simogo’s own admission, SPL-T doesn’t look like much, but it balances a simple premise with thought provoking strategy in a way that’ll keep you coming back for more.

The trailer for SPL-T is refreshingly honest.

The aim is to get as high a score as possible by splitting the screen into smaller and smaller segments. You can divide things down to an eighth of the original play area and each time you tap the splits created alternate between vertical and horizontal indicated by which direction the little figure at the top of the screen is extending its arms.

The game ends when you run out of possible splits and the challenge is to structure the alternating splits in such a way that you maximise your score without running out of segments to split. Each split counts as a single point.

For a title with such a simple premise, the instructions are surprisingly detailed and arguably a tad confusing. You can press and hold on-screen to preview the effect the next split you have will make and you can improve your score by grouping four or six equally sized segments together, at which point they won’t be able to be split any smaller irrespective of size and instead feature a counter that falls by one each subsequent move you make.

When the counter of these locked segments reaches zero, they pop and more segments drop down from the top of the screen, provided other existing segments don’t block them. Each time you play you need an understanding of fractions, spatial awareness and the foresight to avoid blocking potential paths or segments to split.

It sounds rather complicated overall, but despite the amount of writing it takes to adequately describe a game that at its core is splitting blocks in half, we’d thoroughly recommend SPL-T as your new favourite time killer on the morning commute.

It’s clean, monochrome visual presentation and simple 8-bit-inspired soundtrack give it a wonderful retro feel and the satisfaction of bringing order out of the chaos you created has its own satisfaction too.

SPL-T is available from the App Store for devices running iOS 7 and up for £2.29.

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