Brandon from Indie Game HQ has been playing the interesting puzzle game sigsys. Calling this a physics-based game wouldn’t nearly do it justice. There is so much more to sigsys that the rocket scientist behind the game implemented. The official iTunes link to purchase sigsys can be found in the links located at the bottom of this article.
GAME NAME: sigsys
DEVELOPER(S): Sean Summers
PUBLISHER(S): Sean Summers
RELEASE DATE(S): November 18, 2012
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 6.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Sigsys is a unique puzzle game based on control systems theory. Players must figure out the exact mechanics and dynamics of the ball in order to solve each level. The game challenges people to identify “dynamic patterns”. Initially, the game was originally designed to teach linear systems theory to university students.
First off, there are two different control schemes in sigsys. You can either control by touching the screen or rotating the device. It is recommended that you try them both out and choose whatever one feels right as you will need to hone your skills at either one.
The objective of the game is to get the circle, which you control, to be within the targeted area that is either a circle or parallel lines. While in the area you must also hold your circle there for at least 1 second in order to move on to the next targeted area. This all being done while the timer runs and dealing with constraints. The final goal however is to score points and score higher then the demand number in one of three fields. These fields are adaption, strategy, and prediction. The game will grade your play based on as you score points.
The gameplay will have you constantly changing your movements and strategy to position your circle in the target area. The game also throws you a few curve balls as there are 9 levels each designated by a color. Each of these levels brings its own physics you must adapt to.
The game also features an in-game store which costs real money. There you can buy either 10 capsules, 50 capsules, unlock next level or unlock all levels. The prices range from .99 cents-2.99 cents. The capsules are bonuses during gameplay which can be acquired from the store or acquired from accumulating enough points during a level. These capsules add points to your overall score.
Graphics are pretty simple but with a game like this they really don’t have to be all that detailed. The background is the same black background with white sparkles that give the appearance of being in space. Sigsys’s figures are basically either circles or parallel lines, and so the game’s graphics are exactly what you would expect from a game. They make the game playable, but they do not distract the user from the true purpose of the game.
The music is actually quite relaxing. It plays throughout the entire game, but is pleasant and doesn’t get repetitive. Aside from the great background music there is only one sound effect. This sound effect is a long humming noise upon completion of an objective. Like most games you can also either mute the music or sound by going into the options menu should you not enjoy it.
Down To The Nitty Gritty
The first time I played sigsys I tried the tapping controls and instantly lost as it took at least 6 attempts to start before I understood the controls. When I finally decided to switch to the rotating the controls the game became much easier.
The objective of the game is pretty straight forward when you simplify it. Gameplay, however, is quite challenging in the beginning but as you adapt to it, the game becomes easier. This is not because the game gets easier, but because you get better at maneuvering the circle easier.
The in-game store is a nice touch that many games add if you really want to spend money and make the game easier. But, it is not a necessity which makes it fair. The graphics, music, and sounds are simple, but they suit the game very well. This is rather ironic as the has a complex foundation through control systems theory. This all being said, I highly recommend trying this game out. Even if you don’t quite know what control systems theory is, and I think most don’t, it is still a rather enjoyable game.