While the last open-world puzzle adventure I reviewed had the torches and pitchforks out for me, I do love the concept of like, a Metroidvania style puzzle-adventure. Take Pan-Pan [$3.99], a weird little game that has you crash-landing on a strange planet. The parts of your ship that can be used by your crew to repair your jalopy and get back into flying are scattered all about. So, you have to set out and discover just what's going on, solving weird puzzles along the way in an open world. It's a game that is rather charming, and can be a bit frustrating due to some design decisions, but it's a fun experience to check out.
In Pan-Pan, you start off with nothing. You can trigger switches, and pick up a few objects, but that's about it early on. The puzzles in Pan-Pan can be rather esoteric, and a big reason for that is because the game is very much centered around having zero speech whatsoever in the game. So, there's no text hints or dialogue to check to solve the puzzles. There are in-world hints, but because they've all been represented visually, you have to interpret them for yourself. And often, that's a challenge. At least localization was easy!
The developers had to do a bang-up job on figuring out how to get characterization out of just sound effects and animation. This game is rather charming, with lots of little animation touches and a gorgeous, vibrant landscape, that helps make this a world worth experiencing. Control-wise, I thought it was interesting to make this a portrait game, considering this was on PC (so walkthroughs do exist already!), but it makes sense for iPhone play in particular. It would be nice to have landscape on iPad, but it's not a dealbreaker. You tap to move to the designated spot, and topping objects picks them up or manipulates them in whatever available way. You can pinch to zoom, or use the magnifying glass option to zoom in. There's also a one-finger zoom option you can use. Overall, a solid mobile port.
One puzzle solution t...