Appetizer Mobile Lab’s infinite scrolling maze extravaganza Dim sees you trapped in an eternal dark labyrinth with no hope of escape, and it’s so much fun.
Obviously the tension of this time-limited escape experience is off the scale, especially when you find yourself chasing a dead end and running out of time. Aiming to reach the next level before the light that floods your surroundings dims out completely, it’s quite easy to remain glued to Dim for a good deal of time. It’s no quick fix game, with plays that seem to run on and on depending on your skill. However that threat of a dimming light becomes one of the most stressful experiences i’ve had on iOS to date, and I think it’s brilliant. Once you reach the next stage, your light brightens again and the clock is reset and once you reach some of the later levels, the relief at this sudden illumination is heavenly.
As you advance mazes become more intricate, incorporating longer and more frequent dead ends to recover from. With spindled diagonals and denser maps to contend with, more or less every level brings a slight increase in challenge. That being said however it’s easy to notice that some levels are considerably quicker / easier than others in which one wrong move can see you suffocated by a blanket of darkness.
The ball that you guide through these mazes is controlled by your touch. This is possibly where Dim as an iOS title falls down slightly. Your thumb must be constantly in contact with the screen to move the ball – be it by swiping consistently or, my preference, by keeping your thumb stationary on the screen and simply tilting it. You will be spending a lot of time on this game if you get good, and after a while of constant screen touching it can be irritating and tiring. Simple one swipe movements would have made the feel of exploring these mazes a lot more comfortable, especially since response can often be sticky leaving you gliding past a turn you want to make around three or four terrifying times before success.
The atmosphere of Dim is phenomenal however. With a moody, rumbling soundtrack and if slightly muted yet satisfying sound effects, headphones are recommended for full immersion in this universe. For a more relaxing experience, the Infinite mode removes time restrictions and allows you to leisurely saunter through the maze at your own pace. A simple visual style complements this minimalist approach smoothly and a sparse design creates a polished experience.
Dim is easily one of the most engaging puzzlers I’ve come across on the AppStore. With its graceful style, teeth-gritting tension, and simple approach to a specific mechanic it can suit any play mood through its two modes. While some issues with controls could be ironed out, it’s nothing that breaks immersion or engagement, rather a niggling annoyance in a very sleek title.