PHLIP is an interesting and engaging puzzle app for both children as well as adults. It is a universal app, but do note that a camera is necessary to make this app compatible with one’s device.
Said to be a combination of the words Photo and Flip, PHLIP is a really creative puzzle app where one uses a photo from their device or snaps a new image to include as the background of an intriguing puzzle app.
Once a background is selected, players can choose the number of pieces their new puzzle will contain - between four and twenty tiles that will rotate independently, breaking up the original photograph.
Gameplay here is simple to grasp yet these puzzles can become quite complicated to complete, as one can tap to select tiles to either rotate or lock as players tilt their device clockwise or counter-clockwise to make these tiles rotate into their rightful places.
I appreciate how the same photo can be an easy or more difficult puzzle, depending on the number of tiles included, making this app a great choice in puzzle activity for children of all ages - preschool and up - as well as adult.
There is a very nice level of polish that has gone into this app, as fun, quirky sound effects are included each time a tile is rotated, and players are also able to see the completed puzzle with a tap, allowing players to also go back and complete their work after being given help if feeling stuck.
The number of moves needed to solve these puzzles is retained but is unintrusive enough - good to know as I don’t always find that score-keeping adds to my enjoyment of a game or activity.
Another function of this app is the ability to challenge friends and family who have downloaded this app with solving puzzles that one has personally created - a nice touch as I can see puzzle enthusiasts sharing photos among friends, sending these puzzle backgrounds back and forth via email.
Although players are encouraged to create intricate photo experiences to capture in order to make unique and creative puzzles, I have had very good success in finding images from my camera that I have enjoyed turning into photos, as my son has taken to creating architectural photographs of his Lincoln Log structures that he enjoys building which have become great fodder for some interesting puzzles.
I enjoy the interactive elements included within this app as well, as players need to select, de-select, and re-select tiles to be rotated, giving busy fingers and minds a lot to focus on, as does the tilting of the device in a way that I think could be very engaging as well as calming to my sometimes antsy son.
Although not specifically educational, I enjoy my own thought process as I work on these rotated puzzle elements, looking for pieces with recognizable landscapes and working my way out from there.
Depending on the image used, these puzzles can be simple, difficult, or simply time-consuming, often requiring focus and patience that adults can adjust for their children or themselves to be challenged at a level they will get the most from.
Although this app was designed for one to create stylized photos to thoughtfully make puzzles, I think this app could creatively take photos very much in the moment that adults and children could enjoy as they are out and about, making this a wonderful puzzle choice to pass the time for all ages.
PHLIP is truly an app that you make not only your own, but you get what you put into this app in terms of creating the perfect puzzles to spend time with.