Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review: Spliced Colors for iPhone and iPad

Make no mistake: Spliced Colors by Maria Cristian is not a logic puzzle. It is, instead, a game to exercise your visual-spatial abilities.
The goal is peculiarly odd. You have a set of 12 tiles, and a pattern shown on the right of the screen. You need to pick in order the 5 tiles that reproduce the pattern, but rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise.
So in the above case, the solution would be this one:
Picking the tiles is not intuitive: you must tap the tile and swipe up. Don't try to drag it into place, that won't work.

You get 10 points for every level you solve correctly, and lose 10 points (and a life) when you make a mistake or run out of time. Every 50 points, there is an extra level where the tiles scroll across the screen instead of being lined up at the bottom.
Every 50 points, the tile set changes. Don't be confused by the different shapes: topologically, it's always the same set, the lines just get more tortuous to be harder to recognise.
There are five tile sets in total, the fifth one is my favorite, it looks like mountain peaks.
At 250 points you restart from the beginning, but at higher speed, and your lives get reset. At 500 points speed raises again and lives are reset again. After that, you just go on at the same speed until you lose all your lives.

I found this game too easy. The proper way to play it would be to rotate the yellow shapes in your head and recognise the matching tile, but at the lower speeds you can just look at where the line starts and ends (in both cases it can be top, middle, bottom, or top+bottom) and look for the tile with the same properties, ignoring its shape completely. It's only at the fastest speed that this starts being inefficient, forcing you to look at the shapes to be quick enough.

Also, games last too long for a mobile game. I scored 960 on my second attempt; that's 96 levels played, so it took more than 30 minutes for sure. It's unlikely that I'll play again as it currently is, but if I were able to start at the third speed level, with the speed continuing to increase after that, it could be an interesting challenge.

When the game was released, it cost $0.99. Currently it's free, so it's worth giving it a look to test your shape recognition skills.

Summary

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