Genre: Puzzle, Casual, Indie
System: Steam (Windows and macOS) (also available for Apple Phones)
Developer|Publisher: Brothers Make Games
Controller Support: None
Price: UK £2.49 | EU € 2,99 | USD $2.99
Release Date: February 1st, 2023
No review code was used; I purchased the game myself.
Duplicado is a procedurally-generated puzzle game themed around avocados. Its simple-looking and unique puzzles make for a game that players can play for a long time without getting bored.
The Gameplay of Duplicado
Duplicado is a puzzle game with a simple but pleasant gameplay style. There are three levels of difficulty: easy, normal, and challenge. Starting with the easy levels, players need to defeat a set number of these randomized puzzles to unlock the next level of difficulty.
The movement of Duplicado is fairly simple; players select a seed, a direction, and then they push the seed. It will continue moving until it hits a barrier. The object is to plant the seeds in the dirt spaces, but seeds will pass over them if there is not a barrier to stop them. The other types of items and tiles are:
- Water tiles can also be used to plant the seeds, but these stop the seeds as soon as they pass over the water.
- Already planted trees that are impassible.
- And whole and half avocado fruits that can move with a seed inside to protect or prevent it from being planted.
In order to successfully win each Duplicado puzzle, players need to plant every seed in every dirt patch or water tile available. Depending on the difficulty of the levels, players might end up needing loads of moves and planning to get the seeds where they need to be without blocking other seeds from also being planted.
The puzzles in Duplicado are procedurally generated, meaning that each puzzle is made through random generations. This means that each puzzle is created with randomized data algorithmically; while most games have a set number of puzzles that a player can complete, Duplicado offers basically endless play with new puzzles generated each time a play completes one.
This also lends Duplicado the ability to have fans share particularly difficult or fun puzzles with friends on social media or to challenge others to try it for themselves. Players can also load puzzles played by their friends with the randomly generated puzzle key unique to that puzzle’s layout.
Clever All the Way Down
There is something immensely clever about the entirety of Duplicado. Even the name is clever; the word “duplicado” not only evokes the word avocado, it’s also the Spanish word for “duplicate,” which is basically what players do every time they plant an avocado seed and make an avocado-bearing tree. The puzzles are challenging without feeling impossible, and I managed to play about four hours of this game without getting a puzzle that couldn’t be finished.
Duplicado‘s movements are beautifully rendered and smooth as avocado butter. The slide, bump, and plant movements are polished to the degree that I have never seen in a $3 game before, and I was delighted with the smoothness of the push and pull on every seed. It is also relaxing with a nature-sound soundtrack that is absolutely wonderful. There is also some music, but I muted it almost as soon as I began the game because the nature sounds were so endearing.
It’s really hard to overstate how, despite its simplicity, Duplicado is stunningly pretty. The trees have such a soft, gentle movement in the breeze. And the avocados, though just basic shapes, have so much life in them.
I am absolutely delighted with Duplicado. I can’t think of a little game that is more beautifully rendered, more endearing or more replayable than this. Such a simple concept, but the developers have polished it to the point that it feels like a high-end game.
I cannot overstate how much I love Duplicado, and I think just about anyone who loves puzzle games will find more than $3’s worth of enjoyment in the hours lost to this amazing little title.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up: