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Review: Expand – PS4

Expand is a strange little game. It’s good. Very good. But it’s not exactly an easy one to review. Still, it’s a very good game and I’ll do my best to tell you why I’ve come to that conclusion.

I’ve been playing Expand for a few minutes every night for the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately I’m a little behind on my reviewing duties here at Pure PlayStation, so I’ve been dipping in and out of numerous games in an effort to catch up. Plus there’s my day job and family. Ah, the stresses of modern life. Yet Expand is the only game I’ve really been looking forward to play each evening.

Expand is simple in its presentation, executions, and just about everything else. It’s not a visual treat by any means and you wouldn’t see the game as being out-of-place on a smart phone. Yet it’s still very, very good and for me it’s been a better relaxation tool than a bottle of whiskey.

Expand tells you what to do without telling you. The simplistic shapes that fan out, move around, and morph together to create blank spaces for your little pink square to move around are all the instructions you need. You move your pink square through the puzzles in order to reach an end goal. Simple as that. Doesn’t sound very good, does it?

It doesn’t help that the game is so simple, at least not for me, as there’s not really much to tell you. You move through the puzzles to reach the end of the level, then you do it again on a new level. That’s it!

I think the trick to Expand’s captivation is in its simplicity. After a day of running around for my day job, coming home to a child who just wants to cause maximum mayhem, and trying to run a great website, I’m brain frazzled. Expand is easy to play as you all need is the left stick to move Pinky McSquareface around. There’s no complicated button schemes, no hammy dialogue, and no complicated menus. You just sit down, put your feet up and try to move a square through a maze on the telly.

It helps that the puzzles do get a little harder the further you go, but it’s never enough to make me put the controller down in favour of some passive entertainment i.e Netflix. There’s a simple beauty to the levels, too, and I often found myself just watching the simple shapes transform the screen in front of me. Other times that wasn’t possible because of a timer, but you get what I mean.

The game’s soundtrack is sublime, too, and really drives home the chilled-out philosophy of the game. Other than that, I can’t really say much else. I could post 40 riveting minutes of me moving my square around, but something tells me nobody would care. You really do need to try it to get where I’m coming from, but believe me when I say that Expand is as chilled a game as you’re going to find.

Expand PS4 Review
  • 7.9/10
    Overall - Very Good - 7.9/10
7.9/10

Summary

What more is there to say? This entire review has been the length of a decent summary and if it hasn't sold you on why I think Expand is a very good game, this little section isn't going to change that.

Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy. 

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