Monday, September 8, 2014

Pretty Puzzler Plays with Palette - har•mo•ny iOS Ryview

 har•mo•ny, by BorderLeap, LLC.

Recommendation: It's a fun app for a few levels, but it gets stale far before it gets challenging.

har•mo•ny is a game about sliding colors into the correct spot. I like puzzle games, and I like this style of puzzle game with spatial reasoning, but this falls short of the fun filled brain-fest I was hoping for.

Right off the bat, the game does very little to tell you how to play the game. It has a quick tutorial that tells you how to slide colors around, but it doesn't tell you why you're putting them there. It took me several guesses and checks before realizing that you had to use the eye icon (eye-con, if you like bad puns as much as I do) to see the desired color layout for "harmony".

After you figure that out, at least the game is pretty straightforward. You can only move the blocks in cardinal directions and the dots inside them tell you how many moves they have left. And I must say, as far as core gameplay goes, this app does a pretty solid job. It's pretty and easy to use, so it's a pleasant experience.

Now, I unfortunately have to take issue with the difficulty level as well. The game is stupidly easy for at least the first few hours of gameplay, and while the app advertising over 1000 levels, I have no idea how anyone could sit through 999 before they tear their own hair own with boredom. The colors change, and as you progress there are a few moves that make you think, but for the most part each level is exactly the same as the one before it aside for obscenely minor tweaks. And that makes for a very bland experience.

"Very challenging" - testimonial from someone who's color blind

What I want is a set of level banks, where you could choose the easy levels (for kids, or adults who hate the think), medium levels (for people who might want to actually play a game), hard levels (so normal people can learn how to play), and actual levels (for solving actual puzzles). Because as it is, I'm not going to play 900 boring levels just so I can actually find a challenge eventually.

Roughly 100 before literally falling asleep from lack of interest

And, not only that, but there's a glaring problem with the way this puzzle game is set up for mistakes. You get 5 free undos. After that you have to pay real money for more. Otherwise you have to reset the whole puzzle. And each time you reset, it says "you can always undo!". Like Hell you can always undo! If it costs a dollar to get 20 undos, you can't always do it without paying a fortune to play a boring game. It's ridiculous.

As I said, it's a quality user interface, so I can only complain so much about the actual gameplay, but I really can't score it very high if after 100 levels I can't stand to do the same task for a 101st time, and paying for undos is unforgivable.


Time Value
Money Value
Final Score

Let me know what you think of har•mo•ny!

Until next time,


Images courtesy of Apple

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