Expand – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle
Developers: Chris Johnson and Chris Larkin
Publishers: Chris Johnson and Chris Larkin
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Tested on: PC

Expand – Review

Site Score
Good: Great music, fun concept, tricky puzzles now and then
Bad: Gameplay might have been a tad longer
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A while ago, we had the chance to test Expand and we were wondering what the end product was going to look like. Expand is made for meditative purposes as it is meant to relieve stress and calm you down, especcially in this hectic society. To give you an idea, if you missed our preview, ease your mind and read this review.



It seems that the developers really wanted you to focus on the music and shapes rather than on the story. This means that there isn’t really a narrative involved as you’re a little reddish pink square in a mystical labyrinth. Your only task is to find the missing pieces, and this is where your rather monotonous adventure starts.

During your travels, you’ll encounter mostly pop-up texts (easing in and out of course), giving you small quotes or telling you a short story. These sentences don’t really help you on your search for the pieces, but are meant to make you think about your life.

Although it would have been nice if there was a bit more story, telling a grand tale is not really the goal of this game. As descrived earlier, this game is all about relaxation, even though the game still requires some focus. Nonetheless, it sets the right mood and thus it’s mostly up to the actual atmosphere setting music, as well as the actual gameplay.



As you might have thought, the graphics are rather simple. The only colours you’ll encounter are white, black, reddish pink and red. The color schemes never change during the gameplay, as the borders are always dark and the ‘floor’ is white.

Although this might seem monotome when you play the game for the first time, it is rather soothing to know that these are the only colors you can expect. After a while, you’re even glad that these are the only tints as this increases the meditative effect even more.


This is where Expand really outshines as it is set to take you on a meditating trip. They try to do this with some classical and quite emotional tunes that will touch you for sure. As the developers also recommend when you start the game, be sure to wear good headphones to block every noise around you, so you can enjoy the gameplay even more.

Expand only provides a soundtrack rather than sound effects. Some of us might find this bothersome, but it really helps to focus on the music rather than on other tunes.



Expand is a meditative puzzle game, made to get people calm and in zen mode. The goal of the game is to retrieve four missing pieces. This means you will have to navigate yourself in the maze while finding the elements. You can choose which way to go first, when to turn back or if you even want to search the pieces as there isn’t a real story implemented.

It would be a bit easy if you could just stroll your way through. There are certain areas that you can get stuck or there are moments that the walls are changed into the red death. The reddish areas are instant death when you touch them, so watch out. If you find a lonesome end, the scenery will rotate a quarter of your screen and you can restart again at a checkpoint. No stress here as well.

As you might have guessed, there are lots of blend in puzzles you’ll encounter on your expedition. Most of the times, it is a good idea to wait a bit and try to understand the pattern. This will get you a long way, rather than just jumping in and trying to see if you can pull it off. At any rate, it might be a good idea to play this game with a controller. The controls might get tricky when you’re using a keyboard and it might ruin the mood, especially when you’re stuck at a puzzle and you have to retry a lot due to the special movement possibilities.


Overall, the functionality of the game is to get you into a calm mood. To obtain this, they’ve reduced everything to a minimum. The only thing you can do is move around, solve the puzzles and enjoy the music. You will only have a few hours gameplay though, which might be a shame.


Expand will take you quite a trip, where they try to give you a calm feeling. This means that you will experience a rather basic gameplay, seasoned with some rudimentary graphics. The tune you’ll encounter might get you a bit emotional, but the length of the gameplay might be an evildoer.

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Faster than lightning

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