Developer: Nonverbal
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1

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

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

IMG_0528Colorbind is a breath of fresh air in the choked puzzle arena. I’m still a fan of more “normal” puzzles like Rafter—but have you seen how many physics puzzles there are? Don’t even get me started about match-3’s. Colorbind is decidedly different. It’s a serene, unique concept that marries good old-fashioned logic with excellent graphics and a minimalistic interface. If you’re looking for a true mind-bender, Colorbind is the way to go.

This is a game of ribbon-folding. Each level starts you out with one or more strips of colored ribbon at the edge of the screen, and a number of colored dots scattered around. Your goal is to make sure that each dot matches the color beneath it by dragging those strips of ribbon and folding them into place. There are a few catches: “corners” don’t count (and you can’t slide a ribbon under or over them); and if the dot is at an intersection of two ribbons, it’s the vertical one that is compared to the dot. Of course, the biggest catch of all is that you actually have to think your solutions through. Watch the video; it’ll give you a good idea of how the puzzle works. Controls are simple: drag your finger and the ribbon follows, and shake your device to reset the level.

There are a total of 84 levels, divided into the categories of Easy, Medium, and Hard. Don’t let those titles fool you, though: the levels don’t progress steadily in difficulty. Instead, some levels will seem obvious while others will have you scratching your head for a few days. It’s a good mix of challenge, frustration, and success, and the fact that completing each level unlocks those around it means that you’ll rarely be permanently stumped. The levels require a mixture of logic and experimentation, and the more you play, the more accustomed you become to Colorbind’s unique strategies.

Colorbind’s puzzles are excellent, and the scenery is good as well. The game takes place against a pale background, and the slightly-crinkled ribbons create a minimalist atmosphere and a good balance of color. Unfortunately, there’s no music, though at least the sound effects aren’t grating. The game also keeps track of your statistics and comes bundled with a handful of achievements to earn. For once, I’m grateful for the lack of OpenFeint: it would dampen the game’s aesthetic.

There’s not much more to Colorbind. It’s a game of logic and strategy, experimentation and folding. If you like puzzles at all, you owe it to yourself to grab this little beauty. The 84 levels won’t last you forever (I’ve finished over 50 already), but it’s more than worth the $1.99 entrance fee.

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