Splice – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Cipherprime
Publisher: Cipherprime
Platform: PC, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux

Splice – Review

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Good: Feel, calming, unique
Bad: no story and no randomization
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Splice is sure to frustrate and hook you with its clever puzzles, as you take strands of DNA and splice them together. Is this game more than the sum of its parts or is it a Frankenstein’s monster?



Though the story isn’t explained in an overt sort of way, there is the ever encroaching question as to what you are doing and why. The exit menu and the level and stage menu’s seem to be part of the game and is a sort of a cascading overlay and though there is no story there are some general facts. It is obvious that the game hints at the fact that everything you are doing is happening through a sophisticated piece of lab equipment and is being performed through a sort of emulation or interface. The story isn’t the draw to the game and instead it teases you through what little information you can gleam. With a title like this I am not sure a direct story is needed, as the game is more based on it’s puzzles and series of objectives towards the creations of the strands different strands.



The game supports many native resolutions as it is available on several platforms with many of them being mobile/tablet. Outside of that, on the PC the game looks spectacular and its minimalist style is perfect for the game. The game’s textures are smooth with depths of color to their corresponding parts (gradient hues for the background space) and glowing brilliant depths of space that the splices sort of suspend inside of, which adds to the feel of immersion as well as the beauty of its minimalist design. The game was clearly built with touch screens in mind, though on the smaller screens the game certainly looks beautiful the PC version is no slouch.


Splice’s music is perfectly suited to the puzzle aspect of the game with calm piano arrangements playing in the background. The sounds effects are crisp and remind me of machinery when you’re trying to sort the splices in order to progress from one stage to the next. Though you’ll be headed into the game for the puzzle solving gameplay the music and sound effects are something that should be a selling point all on their own.



Gameplay consists of modifying strands into heightened strands or “forms” as the game puts it (angelic, Phenomenal etc), and progressing forward until each strand is assembled into sequences. Each stage is presented as a series of strands, and every sequence (group of stages) is presented as a sequence. A sequence seems to have a certain form of strand you want to improve. There are a certain number of strands per sequence, when the sequence is finished you evolve to the next sequence and its corresponding group of strands. A strand is what you modify through mutation and through splicing so that each piece will reach the destined form for that piece of the sequence.

The strands are pre-set, so you won’t have to worry about failing to complete one only to have to figure out an entirely new. Much like Super Meatboy the game won’t punish you for failing to complete a strand, instead the puzzle immediately resets upon failing to complete the task with no wait time in between. The game limits how many moves you can make and encourages you to find the solution with the least amount of Splices(moves). The game gets progressively harder as you continue through the different sequences, introducing new cells that have their own distinct flavour, such as a cell that has the ability to split at the touch of the button that creates a clone of the original cell and of cell that is connected below it.


Splice can be frustratingly difficult as you pull your hair out trying to solve one of the puzzles, and most of the time the solutions you discover become embarrassingly simple once you realize the answer much like the Portal games. The beautiful music and the puzzle based gameplay work amazingly well together, with the music trying to keep a calm atmosphere as you continually want to throw something thanks to the difficult puzzles.

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