Jan 18, 2011

SkyBoards Puzzle

SkyBoards Puzzle describes itself as an "anime-style game" and claims to be an "innovative puzzle game". Now, I understand marketing hype... or perhaps that should be marketing BS... but to these claims: "no" and "no". The only thing anime about this title is the title screen's artwork. As for innovative...

In SkyBoards Puzzle there's a guy that is trying to walk through the puzzle playfield to get to the end. The puzzle playfield is a grid of square pieces that can be rotated by tapping on them. Each square consists of entry and exit points along the sides. If this sounds like those plumbing games where you have to rotate the pipe pieces to get the water through the pipes and to the exit then you get a gold star as that's basically what this is. Now, the game does add a few elements to make it a bit different and, perhaps, a bit harder. First, there are rules such as when entering a square the player will always go straight, but if that can't happen and it's a choice between left and right then left it is! Second, the game adds items that have to be collected along the way adding multiple destinations to your quest for escape.

SkyBoards Puzzle's graphics are pretty good. The character that walks through the maze is a bit on the small size, but big enough to see... barely. I played the demo version so while I can't comment on other stages I can say that the color palette for the first stage makes it somewhat hard to tell what's road and what's not. I'd find myself often making errors simply because of vision errors and that's just not good for this kind of game. Sound is good and the touch screen controls work well as you simply touch a square to rotate it. One other note is that I really wish I could have a little time to analyze a puzzle before playing. Once you start a level you get a handful of seconds before your player starts moving and there really isn't any time to think very far ahead. That left me feeling more frustrated than outmatched.

qrcodeSkyBoards Puzzle actually does a good job of representing it's genre in the Android Market, but why do we constantly have to read cliché marketing words like 'innovative' when this isn't innovative at all? I'd be more sold on a game that described itself as like a 'plumbing game on steroids'. On second thought, I guess the old 'steriods' quote is cliché, too. In any event, you know what I mean. The demo version gives you access to just one of the game's six sets of puzzles with each set consisting of ten puzzles. For $.99 that's a pretty good deal and it's a shame that they've sold fewer than 50 copies so far. If you like the plumbing puzzle games or just puzzle games in general then this is worth checking out. The QR code is for the Lite (aka free) version. I find myself giving out an awful lot of 4/5's out lately. Recent plays have yielded nothing that hits the great mark (and I avoid spending time reviewing the junk). And this one is another 4/5.

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