App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
It's the simplicity of Senkai Puzzle that makes this game attractive. The objective is to unscramble the cubes to recreate the original circular picture on the front. This is achieved by rotating the cubes vertically or horizontally. However, they are rotated in pairs; so, what you do to one cube also changes its neighbor. There are only four cubes in simple red, white, and black colors, set on a lightly-colored wooden background. Even though simplicity is a good thing, this app may need a bit more substance to make it worth the purchase.
The original image on the cubes is a simple circle with what appears to be leaves or pedals. Regardless, it's a very clean and minimalistic design, which is really a breath of fresh air for puzzle apps. This image does not need to be studied long to understand that a simple circle must be achieved again, with all cubes being of the same color. After shuffling the cubes, a counter will appear at the top of the screen to keep track of how many moves it takes to solve the puzzle. There are also forward and reverse arrows that allow the player to go back or forward one move, without penalty. For an added challenge, this feature may be turned off in the settings menu.
The controls are smooth; simply touch a cube and slide across the screen to rotate it. A click of the cubes is the only sound heard while playing, but may also be turned off in the settings menu.
Many times, a minimalistic approach like this is welcome. However, there are some features that would be nice to see in future updates. For example, there seems to be no record of wins and how many moves it took to win. Also, there are no customization options or achievements of any kind. In addition, changing the background image could offer some needed change. Maybe these features could be unlocked by achieving certain milestones, such as playing the game for a specific amount of time or making a certain number of rotations. The point I am trying to make is that, besides trying to complete the puzzle in a lower amount of moves, there is hardly any replay value to this game. Once you get the hang of how to solve the puzzle, it loses its challenging appeal. There needs to be something else for the player to come back to achieve.
Even though this game may suffer from being overly simplistic, it still deserves a try. Senkai Puzzle is an intriguing app that brings with it a different take on the popular cube-rotating game we all know and love from our childhood. Give it a shot.