Trimming down the puzzle experience to its most basic form hocus (also known as hocus.) lets you play as a red cube while you attempt to traverse and manipulate all sorts of puzzling environments. It’s a computer and mobile game that ultimately blends optical illusions with platform game elements and with its simple design is ideal for the mobile or casual gamer. hocus is a paid game on iOS and Steam with a free to play Android version supported by ads and in app purchases.
Your objective in each game level of hocus stays the same and is to guide your small red cube into a small red hole somewhere on the 3D level structure which ends the level. In total there are over 100 such levels to brain tease players and challenge your game mechanics. Starting from mostly basic 3D shapes players will quickly advance to more challenging variants that require you to blend your mechanical learnings from previous levels together in various ways.
This challenge in hocus particularly stems from the fact that each level is somewhat designed after the Penrose triangle which can trick players as to which side of the shape their small red cube currently rests on. This visual illusion focus will often require players to stop and reflect on their current situation and make a plan before proceeding. Moving your cube is an easy task regardless of device choice but feels particularly comfortable on mobile devices with a single swipe pushing your cube in that direction. A handy indicator at the top of the screen guides players as to the current state of their cube with their potential moves available that can sometimes be hard to determine on smaller handheld devices.
While this takes awhile to get used to due to the unique design of puzzles the game only ramps up difficulty slowly to compensate for this fact. While no specific tutorial its around a dozen levels in that you’ll understand all the core mechanics with each focusing on a single element. Beyond that hocus starts to play all of its cards with the likes of multiple branching paths and a number of dead ends making it enjoyably difficult and varied.
As a challenging puzzle game though hocus is not free of frustration with some parts where your little red cube disappears frustrating to manage when you require to move a certain distance and change direction without the associated visual. The aforementioned indicator does somewhat assist with this but is by no means perfect all of the time and needs some experimentation for each level.
Despite this little annoyance hocus is a great puzzler that is worthy of those that enjoy a challenging but also mind bending game. The depth of content considering the cost is also highly attractive with a few hours worth of content for your dollar particularly when you factor in high score mode and the ability to create and share your own game levels.
- Advance through 100s of mind bending puzzles that are based on the Penrose triangle optical illusion.
- Guide your small red cube to it’s red home in each level as you roll from start to end.
- High score mode available for those that want to push their solving speed to the limit alongside a level editor mode to create levels that can be shared with other players.
- Blend of optical illusions and platform elements that require you to blend multiple puzzle solving mechanics together.
- Available on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.
Review Platform: Android