As a big fan of puzzle games, I am always interested in checking out new games in the genre. A Little to the Left intrigued me when I first saw it. The idea of a puzzle game based around tidying up/organizing was an idea that I thought would work well for a puzzle game. Combined with the laid back/relaxing atmosphere, I was excited to try it out. A Little to the Left is a fun and relaxing puzzle game that has a couple issues that keep it from being as good as it could have been.
A Little to the Left is basically what you get if you combined a puzzle game with an organizing premise. The game is divided into a number of puzzles built around tidying up your house and organizing objects in a certain way. These can range from picking up clutter, arranging the objects in a way that makes the most sense, solving abstract puzzles, and creating symmetry with objects.
The controls of A Little to the Left are quite straightforward. Basically you can grab an object and then either drag it to a new location or turn/rotate it.
One of the main reasons that A Little to the Left intrigued me was the whole laid back feel. While puzzle games are rarely action packed/stressful, I liked the idea of a laid back puzzle game. The game generally does a really good job creating an experience that you can just sit back and enjoy without stressing over it. This comes from a couple design decisions.
First the puzzles are on the short side. You can finish most of them within just a couple of minutes. This makes A Little to the Left the type of game that you can play a couple of puzzles when you need a short relaxing break.
A Little to the Left’s visuals and sound/music do a good job supporting the relaxing atmosphere as well. The game uses a more minimalist art style which I think really works for the game. The game does a really good job making you feel relaxed while you play it.
Other than the laid back atmosphere, I was intrigued by A Little to the Left’s puzzles. The premise of building a puzzle game around cleaning/organizing seemed like a good idea. For the most part the game utilizes the premise well.
Organizing/cleaning actually works quite well as a theme for a puzzle game. Many of the puzzles give you bunch of random objects strewn across the screen. Figuring out how to organize the objects following some sort of pattern/system is oddly satisfying.
For the most part I think A Little to the Left’s puzzle design is pretty good. Some puzzles are clearly better than others, but I generally had fun figuring them out. Some puzzles are quite straightforward. Others require more out of the box thinking. Quite a few puzzles even have multiple solutions. Basically if the premise intrigues you, I think the puzzle design will entertain you.
As for A Little to the Left’s difficulty, I would say that it can vary quite a bit. I would say that a majority of the puzzles are quite simple. For many of the puzzles a solution came to mind pretty quickly. Some of these puzzles have multiple different solutions though. Some of these alternative solutions can be quite a bit harder to figure out.
I would classify most of the puzzles as easy to moderately difficult. There are some occasional puzzles that are quite a bit more difficult. They are not necessarily difficult, but I had trouble figuring out the logic behind the puzzle. Some of the puzzles can be quite abstract where you have to think like the puzzle’s designer in order to figure it out.
This is probably my biggest issue with A Little to the Left. I wouldn’t have minded if the puzzles were difficult. In fact I think the game should have been more difficult. The problem is that some of the logic behind certain puzzles just doesn’t make a lot of sense. This leads to the puzzles becoming more of an exercise in trial and error, than trying to figure out the puzzle’s logic. Ultimately these puzzles were more frustrating than difficult.
While this is A Little to the Left’s biggest issue, the good news is that you can work around these puzzles. If you can’t figure out a puzzle, you can take advantage of the hint system. The hint system basically shows you a picture of the solution. You can choose which part of the solution to reveal in order to give yourself a hint. I wish the game first gave you a hint other than just the solution. I appreciate the ability to get a hint when you are stuck though. Additionally you can just skip a puzzle and come back to it later if you can’t figure out how to solve it.
Other than the difficulty ranging from simple to too abstract, A Little to the Left’s other major issue is its length. The game is not super long. The game has around 75 puzzles to solve with some of them having a couple different solutions. The length of each puzzle differs. You will likely finish most of them within a couple of minutes. Ultimately you should be able to beat the whole game in around 3-4 hours. Additionally there is a daily puzzle each day to figure out. Sometimes these feel unique, and other times they feel like a rehash of a puzzle from the main game. Ultimately I was a little disappointed by the length as I wish there was a little more to the game.
Ultimately I enjoyed my time with A Little to the Left. The premise of building a puzzle game around cleaning/organizing works better than you would expect. The game is straight to the point, and does a good job creating a laid back experience. The puzzle design is generally pretty good, and the gameplay is oddly satisfying.
The game’s difficulty feels a little up and down though. Some puzzles can be really easy, but most are moderately difficult. The worst puzzles are the ones whose solutions seem kind of random. Unless you can figure out the logic that the puzzle’s designer used, you are basically stuck using trial and error or using the game’s hint system to figure it out. This is combined with the fact that A Little to the Left is on the shorter side as most players will likely finish it within 3-4 hours.
My recommendation for A Little to the Left basically comes down to your thoughts on puzzle games and the laid back cleaning/organizing premise. If it doesn’t seem like your type of game, I don’t see A Little to the Left changing your mind. If the game sounds like something that you would enjoy though, I think you should consider picking it up.
A Little to the Left
Release Date: November 8th, 2022 | Systems: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC
Developer: Max Inferno | Publisher: Secret Mode | ESRB Rating: Everyone
Genres: Casual, Indie, Puzzle
Official Website: https://maxinferno.com/
- A relaxing laid back puzzle experience.
- Some clever puzzle design that utilizes the cleaning/organizing premise for oddly satisfying puzzles.
- Some of the puzzle solutions don’t make a lot of sense where you basically have to just use trial and error to solve them.
- Pretty short at only around 3-4 hours.
Recommendation: For fans of relaxing laid back puzzle games that are intrigued by the cleaning/organizing theme.
Where to Purchase: Nintendo Switch, Steam
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Max Inferno and Secret Mode for the review copy of A Little to the Left used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.