Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: Conceptis Slitherlink for iPhone and iPad

Conceptis Slitherlink is the latest in a series of puzzle apps for iPhone and iPad developed by Conceptis, a company which specialises in classic style, pen-and-paper logic puzzles.
I've written in the past that Slitherlink is one of my favorite puzzles, so I've played many implementations of it. Some versions are good, most notably the one in Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection which features many interesting variants.

All the ones I tried so far, however, lacked a feature which I consider critical in the transition from pen and paper to touch screen. I'm happy to say that Conceptis' version has that feature. It is actually disabled by default, but after enabling it in the options screen, here is what you see when you start a puzzle:
See? The edges around the 0 have been automatically crossed out. The game will automatically cross out all edges that cannot contain the path according to the game rules. At long last! Isn't this what computers are supposed to be useful for? Taking care of boring, mechanical tasks and letting us focus on creative thinking. This makes solving the puzzles a lot quicker and enjoyable.
The game comes with three packs available for free from the start, plus additional packs purchasable through (not necessarily cheap) in-app purchases.
Progress and best times are diligently saved for all puzzles.

The iPad allows playing some exclusive, larger grids. iPhone still has some decently large grids:
They are a bit difficult to play at this size, but thankfully they can be zoomed in using the pinch gesture. In zoomed mode the resolution is poor and you can see the pixels in the image, but playing is a lot easier.
Zooming works well with Slitherlink because much of the solving process is local, and you don't need to see the whole grid at all times.

Another distinctive feature of Conceptis Slitherlink is a very comprehensive guide on solving techniques, which covers some pretty advanced topics and is worth a read.
It's nice to see that this classic Nikoli puzzle has finally been done the way it should. Everyone that likes Slitherlink should definitely get this app, and make sure to turn the Auto complete option on.


Logical Reasoning★★★★★
User Interface★★★★☆
Loading Time★★★★★
Saves Partial Progress
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