Where else can you burn a vampire sleeping in the basement or pit a hungry kitty against a delivery drone for a box of sushi? Doors: Paradox has all of the quirky little things that make each puzzle unique and highly entertaining, even if each one will only take about ten minutes to accomplish. It features lush 3D graphics and an incredibly imaginative world where Chaos and Order are locked in a neverending battle for supremacy.
The story of Doors: Paradox
If you’re thinking that it’s a little odd for a casual puzzle game to have an actual story, you’re absolutely right – casual puzzlers don’t normally have a proper narrative, but Doors: Paradox begs to differ.
Here, you’re thrust into a world of weirdness and wonder as a sassy black cat leads you through a series of mystical doorways into different dimensions. Each new location isn’t really connected to the last, but it’s a metaphysical journey through portals that tell you all about Chaos and Order. Throughout each puzzle, you’ll come across cryptic scrolls that contain snippets of the history (and the beef) between these two primordial beings, and how they’ve fought for dominance over the world since the beginning of time.
Thankfully, you don’t really have to figure out how their complicated history came to be, as your brain cells will be pretty preoccupied with the puzzles in front of you. There’s an ending to the narrative (and an important choice to make) when you clear all puzzles and unlock the Epilogues, but even if you don’t play through them, it really doesn’t take away from the sense of fulfilment once you solve each level.
Doors: Paradox gameplay
Each stage is a mini-escape room on its own – you’ll have to solve the puzzles in every diorama-esque scene to open the titular doors and proceed to a different portal. There are hidden gemstones you can collect that’ll let you unlock the Epilogue stages later on as well, along with mini-games ranging from arcade racers to memory games.
The headscratchers themselves have just the right difficulty level to prevent any ragequitting and still keep things interesting, but if you do feel like you’ve hit a wall, there’s a handy hint feature that points you in the right direction. It’ll only tell you where to take a closer look, but it won’t actually show you how to solve a puzzle – that’s something you have to figure out for yourself.
Still, if you’re feeling a little desperate, you can skip that particular puzzle entirely so that it won’t ruin your experience of the rest of the diorama – and each diorama scene really is a sight to behold. Everything is simply so imaginative – going through each puzzle almost makes you feel like you’re in a point-and-click adventure but without the actual adventure.
What’s the appeal?
Themed levels range from futuristic cyberpunk scenes to tropical island getaways, with eight levels free and eight levels paid. I particularly enjoyed the horror-themed series of scenes the most – they’re super creepy, but still interesting enough to compel you to move forward. Of course, solving puzzles will also involve a lot of trial-and-error, where you’ll keep tapping at everything in sight in hopes of triggering something. There are no instructions here, so you really need to have your wits about you to get through each level.
Overall, Doors: Paradox features puzzles that are very logical, in my opinion, and each “eureka” moment is as satisfying as the last. It has a very casual nature to it – you can actually finish everything in about two hours – but what’s the fun in that? Attempting to solve everything in one go simply takes away from the bite-sized appeal of the game, so I still think it’s best played in small chunks when you need a quick break during the day.