capsule review

Sand Trap

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Sand Trap

For a beachside challenge without the sunburn, surf the Web straight to Sand Trap. In this physics-based casual game, you shake sand not out of your shoes, but out of a maze. When you fill the bucket with sand, you move to the next level. You can play Sand Trap right in the comfort of your Flash- and Javascript-enabled browser.

Sand Trap takes the form of a sand-filled tilt maze suspended over a child's beach bucket. Using the mouse, you guide the maze in circles, tipping the grains of sand around until they're positioned to sprinkle into the pail. A few grains can fall to the ground, but there's a critical mass of sand in the bucket that you must meet to advance to the next puzzle. The first levels are as easy as kicking over your little sister's sand castle, but each maze is more complex than the last. Obstacles such as pegs, sliders, and rolling balls appear, requiring more thought and dexterity to solve the puzzles.

Imaginative and enjoyable as Sand Trap is, it requires more than you might expect from a browser. Unlike many browser-based games, Sand Trap not only needs Flash and Javascript enabled, but uses the HTML5 standard. Internet Explorer 8 wouldn't run it, suggesting that I install the Chrome Frame plug-in. Sand Trap ran very slowly on Firefox and eventually froze. When I took the contest sponsor's advice and tried it on Chrome, Sand Trap ran smoothly, and the sand ran quickly.

Sand Trap is a clever and enjoyable physics-based game and a good way to get a quick beach break.

Note: To play this game, you must follow the link and open it in a Flash- and Javascript-enabled browser. After a brief ad video, you can play the game online. This game was a notable entry in the Casual Gameplay Design Competition #8: Sandbox. Read PCWorld's reviews of winning and notable casual games from this contest.

--Laura Blackwell

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Sand Trap

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