Developer: Graycode Software
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0.1226
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

nonocube06I didn’t realize it until I took the time to ponder a few puzzles but I absolutely love nonograms, which are like sudoku but with filling-in boxes that make pictures rather than fitting numbers into a grid. NonoCube is the same thing, only instead of a series of 2D boxes it uses a bunch of 3D cubes. Players still have to chip away at a given puzzle piece by piece in order to reveal the object hidden within, but now in 3D! Despite sounding gimmicky it’s actually pretty awesome.

NonoCube is filled with objects to unveil, starting out simply and getting progressively more difficult until players are analyzing massive 9X8 boxes and taking a look at cross sections. It’s all based on a process of mathematical elimination. For example, if one side of a cube displays a 1 it indicates that there should only be one cube in that row. The trick is cross-referencing one row with another to try and figure out which cubes need to stay and which ones can get lost. If players make three mistakes on a puzzle they’re done and have to start over, however they can keep going so long as they have two or fewer errors. If they finish the puzzle without a single mistake they earn a Perfect, as well as a “trophy” of the item they just uncovered.

As I’ve said, I love games like NonoCube, 3D or not, and that hasn’t changed. It’s very hard for me to stop at just one puzzle, or even five. I also compulsively strive for perfects across the board. I was a little worried that the extra dimension would make ticking off all the necessary boxes a pain but there’s actually a useful mass-selection mechanic that allows players to select all the cubes in a row for either shielding or destruction. It makes dealing with the larger puzzles a lot easier than I imagine they’d be without such a feature.

nonocube08Unfortunately, the tools aren’t perfect. Specifically, it’s the tool selection buttons that are the problem. They don’t always register when I tap them and unless I’m staring at them when I try to change to the shield or bomb I don’t often notice that they haven’t changed. This has resulted in accidentally removing a cube I intended to shield on several occasions and completely derailed my chances at a Perfect score. There is an option to restart a puzzle in order to attain the coveted rank, but it can’t actually be reset from the inside. I have to back out to the menu to do it instead. (Note: I’ve been informed by the developer that there is actually a reset button inside the Help menu that can be used to restart from within a puzzle)

Of course a few minor irritations aren’t enough to keep me from thoroughly enjoying NonoCube. Granted I’m a sucker for these kinds of puzzle games but that doesn’t make it unworthy of the attention. Especially for fans of this sort of thing.


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