Even with such a name, The “Amazing” Alex isn’t an amazing game. Maybe clever at first, coalescing thoughts about The Amazing Machine of old, but soon a sour disappointment with puzzles based on luck and gratuitous trial-and-error with a broken interface and lack of depth will replace any fondness you might hold for the game.
By themselves, most levels of TAA are easy and simple, you just align some pipes here and the ball will fall in the basket, gathering stars (to unlock later levels) is also most of the time pretty straightforward, to the point where you feel like the game gives you too much. Why not remove the stars from the map and make them rewards for finishing levels without using certain pieces? If I can easily brute-force most of them by using a ton of stuff, it would be more challenging to try and finish them with only a few planks and a spring instead of 40.
And the interface is kinda annoying, you have to watch a stupid animation every time you finish a level, even if you mash the ‘reset’ button to try again at getting all the gold stars. This is particularly annoying in these trial-and-error puzzles where you have to reset constantly, having the extra 3 seconds of that kid smiling even though you got one star gets quite frustrating. Also, level ends as soon as you complete the main objective even if there are other items in motion on the map that could collect other stars a second later.
And then there are the terrible trial-and-error levels where you have the rough feeling you know what to do, but can’t do it perfectly on the first time and then need to move something - a balloon, a ball, a plank - in minuscule increments with frustrating controls. And it’s so hard to predict what will happen with some actions - balloons moving books for instance - that you might go at it for way too long, unsure that you’re even trying the right solution, but very frustrated because it seems like it should work with a little change. The game makes no effort to help you with these kind of puzzles.
There isn’t even a way to get advice or help or tips to complete a level. You hit the light bulb button and it brings you to a page with nothing, probably trying to hit a dead server somewhere. Why not have a few hints? Maybe you can’t get the golden stars on your first try when you use hints, maybe you have to spend ‘coins’ you get for finishing levels without hints, but finding a way to help the player would’ve made this game kinda okay, it would’ve removed the very frustrating levels, leaving the too simple ones. There are few ‘well-balanced’ levels where you figure it out and feel smart without spending too long trying random things.