HomeReviews2/5 ReviewElectronics Puzzle Lab Review

Electronics Puzzle Lab Review

-

In the real world, that is, when I am not reviewing video games, I am a Component Engineer. I look after large databases of electronic components that go into various electronic devices, and have done so for nearly fifteen years. Not once during that time have I ever designed an electronic circuit board, nor would I know the first place to start when doing so.

Electronics Puzzle Lab however, would have me thinking it was a piece of cake. The reality is so much further from the truth however.

Electronics Puzzle lab review 1
Want to test your electrical skills?

Of course, this isn’t exactly Electronic Circuit Simulator, and a disclaimer on the main screen confirms that this is a simplified version and accessible to all. It does, however, feel like it has gone too far in the other direction, presenting circuits to you so dumbed down that there is very little challenge to it at all.

The first twenty or so levels in Electronics Puzzle Lab consist of you simply flipping switches, in order to turn on all the red LEDs on the board. It is quite processional with little to no challenge, even when it introduces NOT or OR gates. NOT gates essentially do the opposite of what is being inputted to them, whilst an OR gate has various inputs but will be activated from only one. If you’ve ever used these functions in Excel then you will know how they work; the principle is the same here.

At all times, you can see the flow of electricity which helps, massively so. Perhaps a little too much. Later levels will have you turning on the red LEDs whilst avoiding activating blue LEDs. Blue is bad and Electronics Puzzle Lab states that turning on the blue LEDs can cause damage to the board. This is just adding a bit of jeopardy to proceedings, and it means you need to start the level again.

Things start to become a bit predictable too after you start noticing patterns in the layout. Blue LEDs are usually accompanied by a NOT gate and a switch. You can usually circumvent a fail state by flipping the switch immediately before tackling the rest of the puzzle, taking the blue LEDs out of the equation. Similar too for the jumper cables – if you notice one end of these around a blue LED, simply cut it to remove any upcoming issues. It seems that a lot of the time Electronics Puzzle Lab isn’t designed for you to solve the puzzle, but rather catch you out and force you into retrying it. There is a difference between these two methods.

Electronics Puzzle lab review 2
A few components

It is also the basic components that are used here. Part of me was expecting passives, semiconductors and more to be in use, but Electronics Puzzle Lab is 99% switches and gates. It isn’t even until level 46 where the idea of a capacitor is introduced; one of the most basic components on a circuit board. Instead it is just using the same switches and gates to light LEDs, and I can’t help but feel this method could be applied to a different setting away from a circuit board and achieve the same results. There isn’t enough in the way of electronics here, with Electronics Puzzle Lab feeling more like one of those pipe puzzle games than that of a circuit board.

You can zoom into the circuits using the Y button which comes in handy for some of the more intricate designs. However, that only moves the camera in slightly, and it doesn’t give you much of a scope. There is no option to really zoom in and view a circuit at a much closer distance. On a large TV, it is just about passable, but if this were to be played on a handheld device the lack of zoom could cause a big issue.

Likewise too is the lack of ability to zoom out. There is an impressive amount of detail surrounding the circuits and on the wall adjacent, but aside from seeing it at the start of a level, you cannot view it without pausing the game

Completing a level also awards you with a grade depending on how fast you complete it. These grades are the same throughout each level, and as a result, completely unattainable in later levels. Your highest award is for completing a level within ten seconds. Perfectly doable when you only need to flip a couple of switches, but nigh impossible when you are cutting jumper cables, flipping switches and more.

Electronics Puzzle lab review 3
A bit of a slog

Just as well then that these grades don’t apply to the game’s achievements. As with other recent Eastasiasoft releases, a Title Update accompanies the initial release granting 2000 Gamerscore right off the bat. Many of the achievements in the Title Update will be unlocked before some of those in the main 1000G list, which in itself is not demanding. Simply complete the levels in order and you will have them all unlocked over time.

Electronics Puzzle Lab hopes to inspire players into taking an interest in electronics. After playing it, the opposite may be more likely. There is very little challenge here, but there are a lot of puzzles to slog through. And it doesn’t really do much with either the electronics or circuit design, given that is what it is aiming for. 

There is certainly scope for a puzzle game in this vein, but there is an opportunity to do a far better job than that which we have here.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Well designed environment
Cons:
  • Poor application of electronics in a puzzle game
  • Lack of zoom ability
  • Grading system needs a rework
  • Too much repetition in the puzzles
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Eastasiasoft
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5
  • Release date and price - 15 May 2024 | £4.19
Previous article
Next article
Richard Dobson
Richard Dobson
Avid gamer since the days of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Grew up with the PS1 and PS2 but changed allegiances in 2007 with the release of Halo 3.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Follow Us On Socials

24,000FansLike
1,671FollowersFollow
4,922FollowersFollow
6,870SubscribersSubscribe

Our current writing team

2811 POSTS23 COMMENTS
1280 POSTS18 COMMENTS
1041 POSTS46 COMMENTS
908 POSTS0 COMMENTS
409 POSTS2 COMMENTS
116 POSTS0 COMMENTS
82 POSTS0 COMMENTS
78 POSTS4 COMMENTS
24 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Join the chat

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Well designed environment</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Poor application of electronics in a puzzle game</li> <li>Lack of zoom ability</li> <li>Grading system needs a rework</li> <li>Too much repetition in the puzzles</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Eastasiasoft</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5 <li>Release date and price - 15 May 2024 | £4.19</li> </ul>Electronics Puzzle Lab Review
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x