Signals: Lockdown is a story-based puzzle game for Windows 10 where you have to work your way through a prison protected by an artificial intelligence. You complete a series of circuits to unlock doors and work your way through 100 levels of play. Ultimately defeating the A.I. bot and escaping the prison.
The free game is available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile and includes the first episode of puzzle levels. The second episode is available through a $0.99 in-app purchase. Graphics have a clean, technological feel and gameplay can be painfully challenging at times. Overall, Signals: Lockdown is a stimulating time waster of a Windows 10 game.
First, a bit of bad news. While Signals: Lockdown is available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile, I could not get the game to load on a Windows Phone. In attempting gameplay from a Microsoft Lumia 950, the app crashed and did not get past the splash screen. Results were a lot better with Signals: Lockdown when played from a laptop or Microsoft Surface 3. Hopefully, this is an easy bug to fix because Signals: Lockdown is a fun game to play, which is the good news.
Signals: Lockdown opens up to a modest primary menu with options to jump into gameplay, select a level to play (or re-play) and access the options. At first launch, Signals walks you through a very basic tutorial that covers the backstory and mechanics of gameplay. I could not find any means of replaying this introduction and while you can sort things out on your own, paying attention to this introduction helps you get a leg up on things.
In a nutshell, you are trapped in a prison that is controlled by artificial intelligence. You have access to circuits that control door locks and have to connect the various components to complete the connection. Connections are made in tap/drag fashion with a touchscreen or with a mouse for non-touchscreens. When you successfully complete a circuit, the door unlocks and you advance to the next puzzle level. You also receive a snarky comment from the AI bot trying to prevent you from escaping.
While this sounds simple, each component has a pattern that must match the pattern on the final component that attaches to the lock. The face of the component is a 4x4 grid where a portion or all of the grid is shaded. Many levels require you to combine components at a junction to create a matching pattern to make that final connection.
For example, if the final component is completed shaded and to outlying components are half-shaded, they can be combined at a junction to create a fully shaded component. This junction creates a compatible component that can be connected to the final component and complete the circuit.
Any incorrect connections are displayed as a red wire and can be disconnected by double-tapping or clicking on the wire. Acceptable connections are illustrated with a blue wire. Should you become completely stumped on finding a solution, Signals: Lockdown does have a Hint Button that reveals a portion of the correct series of connections. Hints are free but can only be used once every twelve seconds.
It doesn't take long to pick up on the game concept but can take a while to sort out the puzzle logic. Once you get the logic down, then you face trying to find the correct pattern of connections to complete the circuit. I would have liked to have seen a better tutorial with this game and the ability to revisit the tutorial when needed.
The other main gripe I have with Signals: Lockdown is the bug preventing it from being played on Windows 10 Mobile. The design of the game would be ideal for mobile gaming during times you need a little help passing the time.
This free game is available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile and provides you access to Episode One of the game (50 puzzle levels). Episode Two is available through a $0.99 in-app purchase. While there is room for improvement with Signals: Lockdown, I found it to be a fun puzzle game that has a nice difficulty level. Puzzles can drive you nut but in a challenging manner.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.