Developer: iq12
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.6.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Sigma 12 is a unique app that is part arcade game and part math-puzzle game. While anything that includes math won’t sound like fun to most people, it only involves basic math. Specifically, the main goal is adding numbers up to 12, so calculus is definitely not a perquisite for this game.

The main game screen in Sigma 12 is a 3D cube composed of smaller cubes with numbers on their sides. The cubes range in value from 1 to 5 and the goal is to select groups of cubes so their total is 12, hence the name “Sigma 12” (sigma is the Greek sign for summation). I found that there are two ways to go about this. One way to is rotate and study the screen to find the right groups of cubes before selecting any of them. The second way, which is quicker and more haphazard, is to just start selecting cubes and try to total 12 on the fly. When there’s plenty of time left, the first method is the best, and when there are only a few seconds left, I often just resorted to the second method. When groups of 12 are matched, the cubes disappear from the screen. The ultimate goal is to find and uncover a strand of DNA that is hidden somewhere in the cube.
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Some cubes don’t have numbers and rather have special effects. For example there is the “echolocator” that gives a visual clue about where the DNA strand is located and also bombs that destroy surrounding cubes. Some cubes even change number.

Sigma 12 also bills itself as a rhythm game because players are supposed to complete matches in sync with the beat of the background music to gain the maximum amount of points. Doing so isn’t necessary, but it definitely makes the game much more difficult and time consuming. For the most part I didn’t try to match the rhythm of the background music and just focused on the game, but it does make for a reason to replay levels to get a higher score.

Sigma 12 is a challenging game that isn’t complicated because its core concept is simple and there aren’t many distractions. Adding numbers up to 12 is easy, but doing so quickly while searching for a DNA strand is a challenge. My brain definitely got a workout playing this game, and I had fun with its novel and unique concept. It doesn’t have flashy graphics but it does offer a rewarding mental workout and some amusement.

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