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Review: Quadline is a beautifully intuitive puzzler

Developer: Ivan Kovalov
Price: $2/£2
Size: 59.7 MB
Version: 1.3
Platform: iPhone & iPad


While it initially launched onto the App Store back in 2021, a recent major update led to quadline’s inclusion on the 2024 Apple Design Awards shortlist, specifically in the Inclusivity section.

It doesn’t take long with the game to see why. Within seconds of firing quadline up, you’re being introduced to the game’s core puzzle mechanics in gloriously streamlined and intuitive fashion.

Guide the black edges to the white end points

There’s no tutorial, and not even so much as a line of introductory blurb. Just some squares and a couple of easily decipherable symbols.

This really is a very easy puzzler to get into. If a square has a circular arrow in the middle, then touching it will make it rotate. Any thick black oblongs touching one of its sides will be dragged around in the appropriate direction. If the square has a chevron, then tapping it will move said objects in that direction like a conveyor belt.

Each new element is almost self-explanatory

In this way you can transport said oblongs across each grid-like stage and slot them into the thick white receptacles that have been dotted around. We’ve just spent a mere two paragraphs explaining how quadline works, but looking at one of the screenshots will do a far better job – and playing the first few levels even better.

You might say this is a godsend for those who struggle with reading, and it is. But more than that, it’s just good game design of the ‘show, don’t tell’ variety.


It’s helped by an expertly judged learning curve, with the difficulty gently ramping up along with your understanding and expertise. At certain points, you’ll be offered optional extra levels, which can be bypassed in order to move on to the next color-coded batch.

The presentation might be focused on legibility, but this is also an extremely stylish game. Minimalism is the name of the game, from the subtly shifting tones of the backgrounds to the complete lack of UI elements unless you tap the screen.

The map screen offers some route options

Audio is similarly stripped back, with a pleasingly space-y ambient soundtrack striking the appropriate meditative tone.

Indeed, quadline’s very frictionless nature produces one of our few criticisms of the game. While it’s far from easy, your time with the game tends to float by in a comfortable haze. There’s a distinct lack of edge, typified by a help system that essentially plays the game for you. Conversely, the aforementioned map screen can be ever so slightly laborious to navigate through.

The Key feature can essentially play the game for you

We’re really nitpicking here though. quadline is as consummate an iOS puzzler as we’ve seen in the past year or so.

Throw in a straightforward one-off price tag, and it all amounts to a beautifully judged game that cuts through all the fluff and clutter that has accreted around modern mobile gaming. This is a classic puzzler in every sense of the word.