Switch version tested
Review code provided
The Jade Alpaca is buried deep within Kaktun’s pyramid, and thieving brothers Jacky and Sam are determined to be the ones to reach it and reap the riches. And if Indiana Jones has taught us anything, no treasure can be stolen without running into a handful of traps. SlabWell is a Nintendo Switch exclusive by Undergames that introduces over 100 levels of tile pressing challenges and puzzles.
Each level has the same premise, every tile must be turned red in order to fall to the floor below and continue the journey downward. You can only move to adjacent tiles, and once a tile is red, it can no longer be stepped on again. This is simple enough, with some quick planning you can walk around the level in one go. As you get closer to the treasure, more rules are thrown in. Now some tiles will warp you, some tiles have to be pressed multiple times, some must be hit in a specific order. The rules continue to change as you continue. I played 50 levels in my first sitting and rules change frequently enough to feel like each puzzle was different.
After so many levels you are met with Kaktun’s ghost. Just like in Pacman, this ghost will chase you until it’s game over. This brings in a timed element to the game. The levels before will prep you to understand tile function, and Kaktun’s ghost will force you to think fast and use the tile sets effectively. The ghost will chase you for a few levels before things return to normal.
The main issue here is that each puzzle usually will take no planning, and you can run through each level as if it were a walking simulator. There were a few levels that I had to stop and think, don’t get me wrong, but the majority were completed effortlessly. Ignoring the graphics, puzzle games are about the mechanics and the challenge. While what Slabwell does works, it may be suited for a younger audience that can better appreciate it. There is a co-op mode that has the ability to transform the game into an Overcooked style yell fest.
SlabWell: The Quest For Kaktun’s Alpaca lacks challenge with it’s stack of puzzles. With sometimes feeling too simple, it can still be fun to try out the next tile mechanic waiting on the next floor.