App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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What is it about tiles that makes us want to constantly eradicate them? Not that I particularly mind that much since I think it's a fun pastime but it really does seem that the human race has it in for the innocent little blocks of color. Mosaique is about as gung-ho for tileocide as a puzzle game can get, while also approaching the concept from a different angle.
Mosaique is all about hitting colored blocks with other blocks of the same color. Players must position their particular swatch so that it's in-line, then fire away. The tile-turned-projectile will continue on its merry way until it hits a non-matching color or empty space and rack up points along the way. The catch is that if it hits a different color, the two will swap. It sounds a little convoluted but it's actually quite simple, and the best way to succeed is to try and plow through big lines. This bumps up the score, which is essential for bragging rights, and extends the Shot Meter, which is essential to playing. It's not simply a matter of a direct approach, either. The selected tile can be rotated 360 degrees around the screen, allowing players to "attack" from the top or the sides as well.
As I've said, Mosaique sounds a little complicated but it really isn't. Players simply have to rotate their little icon around and try to match up the colors. It's fairly easy to make it to the end of the 7-level stretch, but getting the high score (and making it through Expert Mode) is the real challenge. On expert every shot takes a big chunk out of the meter and only combos will fill it back up. It's as incredibly hard as advertised but still manages to be fun. Regardless of the mode chosen it can be pretty easy to get caught up in the rhythm of the block launching and lose track of time.
Even with the How To description that players can access at any time, it still takes a bit for the mechanics to really sink in. There are certain approaches and techniques that can only really be learned by doing. The rotation controls also take some adjustment. In a pinch I often found myself accidentally moving in the wrong direction when I was positioned along the top and sides of the screen. Getting to a specific spot in a hurry can also be quite difficult and I overshot my targets a lot.
Mosaique is a simple and fairly cool block-matching puzzle game, albeit one that could use a few more interface options. The default mode is easy enough to be accessible to all, and Expert Mode provides plenty of challenge for those who are looking for it. Plus it's got that whole "zen-like trance" thing going for it.