Diffission by Filament Games throws its gauntlet into curious territory, daring players to prove their mettle in basic mathematics, primarily in the subject of fractions. Math can be a tricky subject in game design, where user-friendly strategies are necessary in order to reel in new players and keep them entertained. A game with fractions at its core potentially dares to exclude players without workable knowledge in the subject. Thankfully, the team at Filament avoids making things too difficult, creating a game simultaneously accessible, challenging, and memorable.
Upon starting the game, you’ll be faced with a grid of tiles, with a target fraction at the bottom of the screen. By slicing across a portion of the grid, tiles can be split in order to achieve the target fraction. In later levels, Dissolve Tiles can be tapped to remove portions of the game area, creating a workable grid for challenging fractions. Although this is about as complicated as the math gets, when a timer is ticking in Challenge Mode, Diffission can be quite tricky. By utilizing simplified fractions, or by preserving Dissolve Tiles at the end of a round, points are earned, which are used to unlock further gameplay modes. Later in the game, Swap Tiles are introduced, which leap across cut lines when slicing through an adjacent tile. This additional challenge lends an improved level of difficulty and strategy to the game.
All modes and medals can be unlocked in just over an hour of playtime. While content-hungry players might come away disappointed with the general lack of content, I appreciated the game’s minimalistic approach to design, nailing a few mechanics instead of introducing too many. Additionally, the sound design serves the game well, and is never intrusive.
Diffission is smart, addicting, and entertaining from start to finish. Though its short play time might be off-putting to some players, I highly recommend that any fan of tile-puzzlers check it out, especially at its current price point of $2.99.