A Real Chin-Rubber
I quite enjoy the fact that there is a notable division between stacking games and destruction games; both exist firmly within the puzzle game genre, but both offer a slightly different approach to the same physics-based problem: the manipulation of various shapes to reach a certain end. Of course, in stacker games like Super Stacker, the aim is to build a structure from the shapes in the order that they are provided; Red Remover is essentially this game’s non-identical twin brother where the aim is to deconstruct an existing structure whilst ensuring that you fulfil the criteria that each different type of shape carries. Though Red Remover may sound like some sort of cleaning product popular with the mafia or a questionable alternative to Cillit Bang, what it actually entails is an innovative take on the shape-based puzzle genre that is what is known in the industry as a head-scratcher, a chin-rubber, or indeed, an idiot-stumper, since you’re going to need some basic logic as a minimum to make it through to the end.
No Reds Allowed
The removal of the ‘red’ that is mentioned in the title is in reference to the requirement of eliminating all of the sad-face, red-coloured shapes from the structures in each level, the completion of which denotes victory for you and therefore the resulting privilege of moving on to the next level of slightly increased difficulty. There are a range of shapes with different properties to consider in your strategy: light red shapes can be removed directly with the click of a mouse; dark red shapes must be removed from the screen indirectly by manipulating the objects that they are resting them or the shapes around them; blue shapes are neutral and can either remain on screen or be eliminated, and so on. It all comes down to removing the red shapes whilst keeping the green ones, but it isn’t quite as simple as that.
The Gravity of the Situation
The game gets a little more complicated when you consider that the factor of gravity is involved, which varies according to the type of shape and the orientation of the face on each of them. Shapes will fall in different directions when you remove the ones around them, which can feel a little bit unusual at first, but is easily adapted to and becomes a part of the challenge of the whole thing. Unlike in Super Stacker, there is a definite solution to each of the levels, with no room for simply clicking and hoping; each level must be dealt with in a particular manner according to the problem within it, so it truly is a game of logic and not chance or luck.
You’ve got some replay value in the golf-like ‘par’ system later in the game, and also bonus mode and a level editor to stretch things out a little more, but there isn’t all that much to it. The only true fault I could find was the incredibly annoying procedure of having to manually navigate to the next level, with no signifying of ‘victory’ that takes you to the next level automatically. This small error aside, Red Remover is a solid puzzler with a great design and original facets of gameplay that make it truly enjoyable.