Sawbuck Gamer

Strata

Loom Raider

Strata lets you experience weaving without all the ugly baskets at the end.

By Joe Keiser • October 1, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

There can be a quiet satisfaction to a repetitive craft like weaving: Sitting there, pulling thread over thread for hours until errant, useless threads become cloth. But with something like three dozen paranormally romantic police procedurals starting this season, who has time to fill their lives with one-of-a-kind heirlooms? Fortunately, Strata can fill the void of a weaving-less existence in just minutes a day.

Played in short bursts, Strata can be soothing. Here is a grid of colored squares. You pull ribbons straight over the grid, and the last ribbon you pull over each square must share its color. Layering ribbons to get this just right is vexing at first, but soon, the grid’s patterns start to stick out, and it’s easy to get that perfect wrap of teals and yellows. Then, the game adds more squares, forcing you to ramp up your new skills accordingly. It has the same effect on the psyche as a good newspaper puzzle—like Sudoku without the numbers. Its single-key piano score and rough cloth aesthetic also add to its sense of timelessness. If it keeps getting new puzzles, Strata is a game some might play forever, a little bit at a time. (This is not a formula that holds up to marathon sessions.) Give it to grandma, and you might never get a pair of unwearable, itchy socks again.

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4 Responses to “Loom Raider”

  1. DrFlimFlam says:

    I think I get it from looking at it, but repetitive actions put me to sleep. I don’t know how people can knit or crochet or what have you. It seems so terrible.

    • GaryX says:

      A lot of people I know aren’t doing just that; they watch TV or something while knitting or whatever.

      • DrFlimFlam says:

        I get that; the Missus FlimFlam has crocheted some. I assume these people just haven’t discovered Animal Crossing yet, because it’s perfect for TV.

    • SamPlays says:

      *DrFlimFlam falls asleep while masturbating*