Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Rearrange colors while listening to gentle harmonies is the bulk of what players will be doing in har•mo•ny. It’s a concept that’s more challenging that it seems at first, and there are over 1000 levels to tackle so it’s bound to keep players busy for a while. The only problem is that the gameplay takes so long to ramp up the ridiculous amount of levels begins to feel like more of a slog than a treat. At least when it’s played for lengthy periods.
har•mo•ny is like a weird combination of a tile-sliding puzzle and Sudoku. Each color swatch has a number of dots on it that represents how many moves it can make (1, 2, 3, etc). They cannot exceed this preset number, nor can they come up short and call it a day. These tiles can also only move horizontally and vertically (no diagonals or anything in-between), but can jump any number of spaces in a single turn. So the trick is for players to plan their moves carefully as they attempt to move each tile the correct amount of times while also ensuring that the colors line up properly. If there’s ever a moment of doubt as to where each color should end up, there’s a handy eye-shaped button that can be held down to show the desired solution to each puzzle.
There’s a very clean and pleasing design to har•mo•ny that’s sure to please, but it’s really the music that enhances the package. It’s soft, mellow, and easy to space-out to. That, coupled with the simple yet increasingly complex gameplay makes it ideal for passing a few minutes here and there whenever there’s a spare moment. However it does start to feel rather formulaic in larger doses.
har•mo•ny’s biggest problem is that the puzzles take a really long time to ramp up. It’s all fine and dandy when learning the ropes and making a few mistakes along the way here and there, but once the core concept sinks in everything begins to feel same-y. As the grids get larger and more tiles/colors are introduced it starts to feel much less like a grind, but actually getting to that point takes a while. Possibly longer than some players would be willing to stick around for. I’m also not a huge fan of selling “undos” through in-app purchases, but at least flat out restarting a puzzle is free and relatively painless.
There’s a fair bit of low-key entertainment to be had with har•mo•ny, but the time investment required to see the truly challenging stuff might be a problem for less patient players. Still, when played in smaller doses it can be a very zen-like puzzler.