Access Denied Review

Sometimes you come across a game that you’re not entirely sure who it is aimed at. Access Denied is one of those games, made by renowned easy platinum trophy developers Ratalaika Games. According to the summary Access Denied is a puzzle game in which personal data is locked away in protected boxes. It doesn’t go into detail why it’s locked away or why you need to unlock it, lets see what surprises Access Denied might have after completing the first puzzle.

There are 36 puzzles to get to grips with, unfortunately the initial level select screen is hard on the eyes as each selection is blue and when you choose one it’s highlighted in a lightish green colour. Each puzzle has similarities to safes being cracked, some have flip switches to be flipped, buttons to be pressed and circuits to be connected. The first couple of puzzles are very easy to complete, the first puzzle is simply flipping switches. The second puzzle needs you to interact with a few dials, this is where things can get problematic. The puzzle itself is easy however the manipulating the dials are a pain. You would have expected that moving the cursor in a circular motion would move the dial the same way, that is not the case. Strangely to move a dial to the left you need to move your cursor all the way to the left, vice versa when you move right, it’s a clumsy and cumbersome mechanic. You can zoom in and move puzzles around to fit your thinking.

There’s no explanation in why you need to open the boxes in Access Denied. There are no instructions either when attempting to complete a puzzle, most of the puzzles are fairly straightforward. However there is no natural difficulty curve so puzzles can differ dramatically from one level to another. Add that erratic difficulty curve to the lack of instructions then Access Denied, at times, can become more trial and error; it seems to veer towards using patience and perseverance rather than puzzle solving skills. There’s one puzzle where you simply click on a dirty panel because it’s the only one that is dirty, there’s very little information on what you are meant to do. Once you’ve completed the 36 puzzles there’s nothing left to do, there are no high scores boards nor a record on how quick you completed a certain puzzle.

Graphically, Access Denied is fairly bland looking, the background is the same throughout, puzzles pop up on the screen then disappear when completed. There’s a clock that tells you correct time, but this adds nothing to Access Denied. Rain falls outside and rain falling is predominantly the noise you hear as you’re playing with unlocking the puzzles. There’s not a lot going on in Access Denied, so graphically and musically are the areas where you’d expect a bit more in terms of presentation. The end result of completing 36 levels isn’t much to write home about and that’s where Access Denied probably falls the furthest, it’s just not that much fun or interesting.

There’s not a great deal you can say about a game where the primary aim is to unlock 36 puzzles using practically the same tools each time. Access Denied only has 36 levels so you can be finished with it inside one hour. There’s no longevity because there’s no competitive function to Access Denied, no high scores at all. It’s difficult to score a game like Access Denied because it is effectively not much more than mini game that may pass a few minutes. If you like specifically puzzle games then you’ll get some minor joy out of Access Denied, but if you want something a lot more interesting and fun to play then Access Denied is not the game for you.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to

Access Denied Review
  • 4/10
    Gameplay - 4/10
  • 4/10
    Graphics - 4/10
  • 4/10
    Sound - 4/10
  • 4/10
    Replay Value - 4/10
User Review
0/10 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0/10 (0 reviews)


There are 36 boxes to safe crack, Do you have the perseverance to open them all?

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