Room-in-a-box, Jan 2020
While each Unlock! game is a stand-alone story, fully half the boxed sets have included an episode featuring the closest thing the series has to a recurring villain. The Noside Show is the third of these, and its cartoonish style of illustration and puzzle logic will be familiar if you’ve played one of the others.
Noside Show is set at a circus, and has a structure based around a sequence of performers. It’s not as linear as that might sound, since there are also side areas to ‘explore’, using the app. This produces a slightly odd dynamic where trying the same thing at different points in the game can produce different results, but since it doesn’t impose penalties for trying things earlier than the game intends, the only downside is repeatedly checking areas in case they’ve changed.
Like many of the more recent Unlock! games, Noside Show uses some left-field ideas for prompting you to take new cards. Unlike some of their others, I thought that worked well here – perhaps because it’s intended to be an easier game and therefore their cunning tricks were all straightforward enough to feel eminently fair.
Although fairly easy, Noside Show also felt fun, clever, and pleasing. Its big finish was similar to something from a different Unlock! game, but worked far better.