Not a week seems to go by without another virtual reality (VR) puzzle experience being released – the last one VRFocus reviewed was FORM. So for a genre filling up with evermore brain taxing titles the need to be inventive and unique becomes a real must. Enter Slice & Dice from Korean developer VRotein, a videogame that’s all about cutting blocks to pieces to get a die into a goal.
Slice & Dice isn’t some flashy puzzle experience that features a convoluted storyline, protracted sequences or any other fluff. It’s just you and loads of levels to to play through, each more fiendish and difficult than the last. As mentioned in the last paragraph, this videogame is about slicing blocks to manoeuvre a die from its position into a goal located in the floor of the level. To do this you’re provided with a tool that features three functions, singular slice, multi slice and explosive. All fairly self explanatory, the first only cuts one block, the second cuts through loads, while the last simply destroys one cube.
It’s this refined approach that works in Slice & Dice’s favour, rather than over complicating the gameplay mechanics. The levels are thoroughly thought out, mixing up these three core actions for some truly head scratching puzzles. And there are certainly a lot of them. Split across five stages each featuring 20 levels, as you would expect Slice & Dice eases you into the gameplay. VRotein gradually introduce new blocks in a fashion that’s not overwhelming so when red blocks (that can’t be cut) or ice cubes (that slide) it all feels like a natural progression.
As you delve deeper into the trickier stages you’ll find there’s somewhat of an art form to cutting blocks. This isn’t Fruit Ninja, where you’re wildly swinging away without a care in the world, this is precision stuff. To get the desired angle you can teleport around the area and notch yourself higher and lower. Getting this just right is a crucial factor as the die could just roll completely away from the goal. When you go to make a slice an area of the block is highlighted pink – signifying what’s about to be removed – and this can be done as many times as you like, although the fewer cuts mean a better score.
Completing levels earn you stars, do it within the allotted parameters VRotein has set and you’ll earn the maximum three. This is where Slice & Dice tries to mix in some replayability just as other puzzle titles do. Once you’ve finished all the levels you can go back and try to finish any that you didn’t max. It’s a tried and tested method, but with the inventiveness found through the rest of the videogame it’s a shame the studio didn’t come up with a more original solution.
VRotein claim Slice & Dice has over 20 hours of gameplay but that’s not necessarily the case as this is completely dependent on how good you are at this type of videogame. What can be said is that the latter levels will test your patience so you may want to put those controllers down once in awhile. If you want a novel VR challenge, you can’t go wrong with Slice & Dice.