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ELISS INFINITY (
BY STEPH THIRION
There are a lot of “remakes” and upscale versions out there these days, but Eliss Infinity isn’t one that you should skip over. Though the premise is simple—separate or combine planets, drag them to color-coded portals—the game finds endless variations on the form. Its bright, pastel colors and sprightly, spacy sound design make the game a delight to behold even when it ratchets up the difficulty to Super Meat Boy levels.
Perfect for: Puzzle fiends, multi-touch masters, Galactus the Devourer of Worlds
Playtime: Minutes, which can become hours
BY LIMASSE FIVE
As in many 3D puzzle games, you will run, jump, and climb, but above all you will look in NaissanceE. Chances are you’ll spend just as much time admiring the way light bounces off the simple monochromatic shapes as you will figuring out how to advance. Over time, a sense of logic appears to be at work. Is this derelict monstrosity a complicated machine, or something even more sinister and sentient?
Perfect for: Appreciating loneliness, learning Chiaroscuro basics, Portal fans
Playtime: About 5 hours
Games like Skate and Tony Hawk loved huge ramps, mile-long grinds, and kickflips off five-story buildings. OlliOlli is more interested in seeing if you have the wherewithal to keep practicing after endless failures. It’s easy to get charmed by the muted Canabalt-like graphics, surprisingly deft animations, and the satisfying “ka-chunk” that accompanies each grind. Each step you take towards improving your score, though, is accompanied by faceplant upon faceplant, until you finally, gloriously, land it.
Perfect for: People who miss their skateboarding days in high school, anyone with a Vita
Playtime: A few hours, or until you realize you want to give your skateboarding career another go