Developer: Sae Cho
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

A cursory glance at Joy Desk doesn’t really do it any justice. A plain screen with a ball and some stars just doesn’t look like the most exciting of titles. To be fair, Joy Desk isn’t full of thrills or spills, but it does offer a simple yet fun puzzle game.

The idea behind Joy Desk is quite simple. Players are presented with a number of pieces of paper. Lines are drawn on some of them, while others have spikes littering the scenery. A ball is present along with one or more stars which must be collected. How is this managed? Through gravity, duh!

Players have to line up the paper sheets in order that once the level is activated, the ball falls on each of the stars. This can get pretty tricky given the wealth of spikes and obstructive lines that can get in the way. Fortunately, the pieces of paper can be rotated and moved around, thus overlapping each other if required. This proves particularly useful once coming up against black holes and gravity changing abilities.

Some help is provided through the ability to use a pass card to skip to the next level, although players are limited to only eight of these. Unusually, there’s no means in which to buy them through an in-app purchase either. A similarly minimalist approach is taken with its lack of leaderboard functionality or competition other than simply progressing through the levels.

That simplicity is both what makes Joy Desk fun but also restricts its replayability. It’s the kind of game that would have greatly benefited from a level creator, for instance. Still, in its current form, Joy Desk is fun but a little bare bones despite its good intentions.

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