Welcome to The Penrose. A futuristic art deco luxury hotel that seems to have all the visual amenities to feast your eyes upon. But wait, what's that? A phone rings and on the other end is a woman by the name of Cooper warning you about your seemingly perfect stay. She insists on an escape. But how? Why? Enter The Spectrum Retreat.

A clever puzzle game crafted by a young developer named Dan Smith, there's a lot to show off within this title. First impressions are usually down to graphics and art direction, and in this respect we are certainly not disappointed. The Penrose is grand, a hotel that I would be more than happy to have a real-life stay in--with faceless robot beings staffing what looks to be an entirely automated operation. You can almost smell the polish exuding from the mirror-finished surfaces adorning the place, with the carefully constructed architecture really making you feel like you're in this actual space.

What you end up noticing aside from Cooper's urging words, is how everything seems to be just not right. A little too perfect, one might say. The robotic staff pulls suspicion almost immediately--having not another soul around except themselves, and you. With blank faces, they address you, wanting nothing more than to make you comfortable in the hotel's presence. The very model of the robots alone made the hair stand on the back of my neck.

The voice acting is superb. Notably, Cooper's voice acting is of film quality--pauses and cadence all in the right place to really make you feel immersed into the story. It's clear, concise and upon hearing it, you really do feel as if she's on the other line helping you out.

The actual gameplay revolves around solving colour coated puzzles. You reserve the ability to 'suck' colours up, store them and spit them back out to manipulate your way through a series of well thought out mind benders. With remnants of Portal's complexity echoing in the ear, The Spectrum Retreat manages to take the basic puzzle solver and push it further with many (if not all) rooms having multiple layers of problems to work your way through. Nothing ever seems straight forward in the way to progression, but that's what makes solving the puzzles so very satisfying at the end. It's not uncommon to remain stumped then suddenly fall into an 'AHA!' lightbulb moment of triumph.

The Spectrum Retreat takes a bit of thinking, but can be played casually as well. It's clever, fun, and the story is quite the ride too. Bravo to Dan Smith for putting together a game that really kicks it up a notch. I fully recommend this title to anyone that likes to have their brain picked a bit, loved Portal, or just enjoys slick puzzlers.