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Pangea Software
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Enigmo 2
January 31, 2006 | Jean-Luc Dinsdale

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In 2003, Brian Greenstone's Pangea Software released Enigmo, a casual puzzle game featuring liquids. The new game was a big departure for the independent game developers who had specialized in 3D action/adventure games since their inception in 1987. With titles like Otto Matic, Cro-Mag Rally, and the highly-popular Nanosaur and Bugdom franchises as their bread and butter, moving to more casual games must have been a huge risk for the maverick developers. However, Greenstone and co. took to the task with their regular aplomb, adapting their 3D engine and applying the same amount of effort, ingenuity, and polish as in all their other projects.

As a result of their hard work, Enigmo was a huge success. Critically acclaimed by the gaming press and lauded by fans the world over, the title proved to be a simple, yet fresh and ingenious little puzzle game that would suck players in and not let them free until the wee hours of the morning.

Equipped with a limited number of bumpers, sponges, springs and other props, players were tasked with shepherding drops of water, oil, and lava from separate droppers, either around or through all manner of obstacles and gates, to finally collect them in individual spittoons. Despite the game's straightforward concept, solving the seemingly simple puzzles with the provided game pieces often proved to be a challenging exercise in ingenuity. Although there was almost always more than one way to solve any puzzle, jumping into a new level without proper planning invariably led to coming up one piece short of solving the puzzle. Combined with the high level of production values typical of Pangea titles, Enigmo proved to be a roaring success with the casual gaming crowd.

It's been three years since the initial game's release, and Pangea has rallied the troops once again to release a sequel to the popular puzzle game. While Enigmo 2 shares many of the same concepts as the original, the developers have completely refreshed the game by introducing the simplest element possible to an otherwise excellent game: play in the third dimension.

While the original title was rendered in a 3D engine, gameplay was "flat," or, for the non-technical, restricted to two dimensions. Players could only move objects left and right or up and down, and object rotation was restricted to a single horizontal axis. Even the camera movement was restricted in that players couldn't swing the view around to look at the problem from a different perspective, despite the fact that the game was very obviously being rendered in 3D.

Enigmo 2 tears the roof off that limitation by featuring a revised game engine allowing players to move objects horizontally, vertically, and along the z-axis, or the depth plane. Objects can be pulled close up or pushed far away from the camera in the game space. Objects can be rotated in all three axes, freeing the elements from their flat environments, sending water droplets flying in literally all directions. Camera movement is now also unlimited, allowing players to twirl and rotate the puzzles to whichever angle best suits the task at hand.


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