We’re assuming that we’re not the only ones who preferred A Little to the Left’s levels that had us organising drawers full of stuff rather than the more obscure puzzles. Because now, developer Max Inferno has released an expansion for the game that focuses heavily on sorting out drawers and cupboards. Pens, jewellery, fishing tackle: there are 26 new puzzles altogether in the new Cupboards & Drawers DLC, and many of them are up there amongst the most enjoyable puzzles in the entire game.
If you’re unfamiliar, A Little to the Left is a puzzle game all about finding patterns in the every day, sorting out items by size, colour, shape or some other feature they all have in common. Released last November, we very much enjoyed our time with the game – but its puzzles were a bit of a mixed bag, with some not really hitting the spot in the same way as others. Its Cupboards & Drawers DLC will appeal to those who most enjoyed A Little to the Left’s meatier puzzles: the ones that threw a whole load of junk at you and said, “go on, fit it all in this drawer!”.
There are some seriously satisfying puzzles here, like organising spoons in a cutlery drawer or assembling an entire sewing box. Everything has a specific place and it’s your job to figure out what goes where. Sometimes, it’s tricky to get started, but once you get just one item in the right place, you can start to build around it. Completing one shelf of a cupboard or one section of a drawer organiser fills you with a sense of pride, making moving onto the next area easier. Everything comes together in such a satisfying way: curves of one item fit neatly into the contours of another; straight lines stack up against each other perfectly. It sings to the inner neat freak within you.
However, sort of like the main game, A Little to the Left: Cupboards & Drawers DLC starts out stronger than it ends. The first half of this new content pack is filled with strong, meaty puzzles about logically arranging items in a tidy, neat pattern. But some of the later puzzles aren’t quite as satisfying – and feel a little too much like filler. One has you opening several drawers until we reach a compartment small enough to store a single peanut. That’s it: that’s the puzzle. Another simply tasks you with putting four different-sized swords into the correct compartments of a box.
It hardly matters though: these shorter, less engaging puzzles could simply not exist and there’d still be enough content in Cupboards & Drawers to make it a worthwhile experience. Look at the other levels as mere bonus content: after all, we’d rather have them than not at all.
While around a third of A Little to the Left’s main puzzles had multiple solutions, only three of the 26 puzzles in Cupboards & Drawers have more than one way of solving them. We suppose it’s understandable: the nature of sorting out cupboards and drawers means it’s more difficult to have alternative solutions. After all, many of the puzzles have very specific places carved out for certain items. The puzzles that can be completed in more than one way, though, are very satisfying indeed – and it’s likely at least one of the solutions will have you scratching your head for some time.
A Little to the Left: Cupboards & Drawers DLC is a triumph indeed. Max Inferno has drawn on the strengths of the base game and the result is a series of puzzles that, for the most part, shine even brighter than the rest. Sure, once again, not every puzzle has been created equally, with some not hitting quite as hard as others. But there are more than enough fantastic puzzles here to make this a worthwhile purchase for anyone who enjoys sorting and organising.