In German the word schadenfreude means “pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune”. Unfortunately they don’t have a similar word for the pleasure derived by yourself by your own frustration. This is how I feel when playing Induction.
Induction is an abstract and minimalist puzzle game about time travel and paradoxes with more than 50 puzzles. You have to work with time loops and your past selves to ultimately reach the goal at the end of the level. Occasionally this also means setting up seemingly impossible paradoxical loops where the future depends on the past and the past depends on the future.
The minimal aesthetic of Induction helps focus the mind and eliminates potential distraction while trying to strategise your next series of moves. The game also has a wonderful ambient soundtrack by Tim Shiel.
In the past I have played similar time turning games, like Braid and Time Turner, and I always really enjoy the experience, but I get so frustrated at my own inability to be able to solve the puzzles. They are like looking at an Escher drawing and trying to figure out where the artist started to create such a clever optical illusion. You do feel a wonderful sense of elation when, after staring at a puzzle and trying numerous things for half an hour, a level suddenly clicks for you and you move on to the next one.
Therein lies the problem I had with the game. I found it to be a game that I enjoyed in small chunks as I don’t always get the time to focus on a game that so readily needs my attention, but by playing it in chunks I found myself having to retrain my thought process when I came back to it each time.
For a lapsed gamer who loves puzzles and a more sedate play style I would recommend Induction, but for those who prefer something a little more action packed I doubt you would find anything here to grab your attention.
Based in London, England
February 7th 2017
Steam (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Humble Store (Windows, Mac, Linux)