Physics games come in all shapes and sizes, from simple vehicle-based stunt games that obey simulated laws of gravity to puzzle games that require the use of some heavy thinking and a number of given objects for an end goal such as turning on a switch or waking up a sleeping box (as in Wake Up the Box 5). Perfect balance falls more towards the straight-up puzzler genre and requires you to stack all provided objects of increasingly irregular shape and size into a perfectly-balanced structure. With a solid design and enough levels to keep you sufficiently challenged for the foreseeable future, you are unlikely to find many physics games as challenging or as well-established as Perfect Balance 3.
Each challenge in the game involves you stacking a series of given objects on top of each other with enough skill as to allow them to balance indefinitely, allowing you to earn points and move on to the next level. Though you may find the earlier stages a breeze, the shapes become increasingly irregular and much more difficult to stack, requiring more and more care and forethought in your choice of shape and its position in the stack.
Use your mouse to select your desired shapes and move them into place, and use the A and D keys to rotate the shape. The ability to rotate the shape and change its orientation is a variable that adds another dimension to the challenge, making the different stacking possibilities almost infinite in number, and also increasing the chances of user error. In this manner, it really is up to you whether you fail or succeed in each level, with a real emphasis on thinking carefully about the stability of your structure and the suitable placement of the next shape for maximum stability of your teetering structure. In addition to the regular shapes that are provided, there are also ones with special properties such high-density shapes and floating pieces in order to mix things up a bit.
In terms of departures from other Perfect Balance Games, Perfect Balance 3 keeps the changes to an absolute minimum, choosing to focus on delivering the incredibly challenging and stupidly-addictive gameplay experience that the series is famous for. The addition of bonus gems that must be stacked with extreme care at the end of the level when your structure is at its most unstable is a new feature, allowing you to earn a few extra points and test your manual dexterity to its limits.
Perfect Balance 3 isn’t for the impatient individual that is simply looking for a game they can just walk through with no thought or requirement of skill; it requires patience, calculated thought, and careful planning in order to remain a few moves ahead at all times. The game isn’t overly flashy or beautiful to look at, but the textures are smooth, the shapes are colourful and most importantly, the gameplay is fiendishly difficult in its later stages and will put your brain and your steadiness to their limits.