Game

Minimalist iPhone puzzling at its best

Price: $0.99 / £0.79
Version: 1.0.1
Size: 10.2 MB
Developer: ZealTopia Interactive
Platform: iPhone & iPad

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There’s a big market for simplistic $1 puzzlers on the App Store, and Huetopia is an exciting addition. This beautifully designed app uses movable blocks and colors to create a very addictive, but at times incredibly frustrating challenge, which is an easy pick-up-and-play title.

Each level contains a number of blocks each with two ‘nodes’ at either end. These blocks, or strips, sit ‘on rails’ of a varying number which make up the board. Behind the board are different colors, usually two different shades, but sometimes more. Each end of the strip has a circle that corresponds to one of these shades, and the goal is to move the strips around to ensure each color eventually sits in its corresponding color. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it’s actually a very simplistic concept. Each block when either horizontal or vertical, can only be dragged on those axis, or they can be rotated on each node. The board changes shape frequently, but by far the most challenging levels are when the board has only two rows or columns as it becomes incredibly tricky shifting and turning the blocks with little room to maneuver.

Simply tap one of those crosses twice to realign the column so all circles are on their respective color shades

Simply tap one of those crosses twice to realign the column so all circles are on their respective color shades

How much skill’s required for this game is up for debate. Once you get through the early levels, the number of blocks and colors increase to a point where it’s nearly impossible to work out from the start where each needs to end up in order to complete the level. Perhaps, if you drilled down, you could figure it out eventually, but then simply playing around, switching and shifting, will eventually see you land on the correct solution. It can be quite a frustrating experience at times.

The levels ramp up in difficulty as you progress, many leaving little room for maneuver

The levels ramp up in difficulty as you progress, many leaving little room for maneuver

To dull this irksome nature, the app provides some wonderfully relaxing ambience in the background, and the colors which shift across each level covers the entire spectrum of color, from dull browns to simmering oranges. There’s also no move limit or timer tracking your turn – no pressure, more fun.

Huetopia is a wonderfully minimalist and easy to pick up colorful puzzle game that’s well worth $1 for a few hours of satisfaction.

 

Review: Huetopia – a simple but effective minimalist puzzler
Textbook example of how to create a minimalist mobile puzzle game.
For
  • Great color-focused design
  • Game mechanics are simple, steady, but intuitive
Against
  • Frustration often spoils the enjoyment
4.0Overall Score