I am a sucker for puzzle games, and I’ve found me a new way to pass time on my Iphone. I’ve spent some time playing SlideRules by AntHill Games and have walked away pretty impressed (Note: SlideRules Lite is in the App Store. Go play the demo…. after you finish reading my review). The game takes a simple objective, adds in some obstacles, and challenges your mind to complete a puzzle while keeping the number of moves you make at a minimum. (Sure.. you could finish a puzzle in over 1000 moves.. but whats the fun in that…)
Upon entering the game for the first time you are presented with a title screen with a 5 options/game modes. There is a quick tutorial that does a good job at explaining the game and all the different challenges you may encounter, a practice mode that will let you play any of the games 60 levels so you can try to beat your Classic Mode scores (Yes, the game does keep a record of all the levels you complete. Yay!), a Classic mode, an Expert mode in which you are challenged to complete puzzles in a certain number of moves (these can be very tricky… trust me..), and a Survival mode where you are given a time limit to complete 12 objectives one after another on the same board in a 5 minute timeframe.
Gameplay consists of reading an objective at the bottom of the screen, and sliding your numbers around to achieve the goal. Some rows and columns can only be moved in certain directions, which makes you plan your moves so that you get all your numbers in the correct positions. Also, the objective for each level is different, which keeps the levels fresh as you go (Also.. to the dev.. Thanks for all the small touches, like showing the sum of the numbers in the circles in the levels where you are trying to reach a certain Sum with your numbers. Bravo!) The puzzles are challenging, and the addition of ghost tiles, magnets, keys & locks, and raised tiles all alter the gameplay as you play. Also, if you are trying to get the lowest number of moves possible, you are going to be repeating puzzles multiple times.
Overall the app is solid, the puzzles are fun and challenging, and with all the game-modes this app will keep you entertained if you enjoy a good puzzle. The developer is creative with all of the games puzzle elements, and the levels progress in difficulty pretty steadily. Also, if you’re into beating your own scores and perfecting your moves, this game will keep you busy for a while. I know I’ll be playing it for a while!
Note: Now….. go get the demo I mentioned earlier! The lite version contains 10 levels from the game. These are not just the first 10, but taken from throughout the difficulty range. Now go I say! and play!