A great puzzler, the likes of which we’ve not seen in a while
Price: $2 / £2
Size: 882.9 MB
Platform: iPhone / iPad
Developer: Juan Gabriel Palomino Garcia
Queen Rules is a game that just feels right in a world where so many apps and games feel half-finished. From its gorgeous claymation style animation, to its simple but increasingly tricksy gameplay, to its attention different characters and worlds. Everything comes together to create a wonderfully coherent piece.
While it’s tempting to call Queen Rules unique, like many other puzzlers of its ilk, it’s largely a twist on classic board games like chess or checkers. In this, you’re led by the king and queen, supported by their soldiers which take up residence on boards of various sizes.
Each miniature army is given a number as they sit on certain squares of the board, while other squares sit empty. The aim is to use your finger to swipe the soldiers across different squares to spread them out. Once each square is filled with a ‘1’, you’ve completed the board and can move on.
What’s surprising is how long a run up there is in terms of challenge. The game cycles through a handful of worlds, each with a significant number of levels before it starts to get difficult. Whether it’s incorporating different colored soldiers that have different gameplay properties, to putting the evil witch’s soldiers in place to disrupt you, the game gives you a real breaking-in period.
But when it gets difficult, boy, you’re in for a tough time. Thankfully, the challenge is in finding the way forward, rather than having to deal too heavily with extra lives or restarts. The controls allow you to easily refresh the level, or move back a number of steps before you find the right order or direction in which to swipe in.
While there is a semblance of narrative, it’s not too encompassing. But it does provide a number of different worlds in which the king and queen visit, each varying in color and dramatism. Also worth mentioning is the gorgeous art style, forged of handmade clay figures. It’s one of those rare games where the making of photos are almost more impressive than the finished product.
Overall, Queen Rules feels nostalgic in a world when games are trying to break barriers in terms of pricing or novel gameplay. This keeps things simple and provides an honestly joyous, non-frustrating game you can pick up and put down whenever you feel like it, and the handmade clay art looks just lovely. We highly recommend Queen Rules.
- The clay art style is great
- The gameplay is easy to follow
- For a puzzle game, it's a storage guzzler