Developer: Chillingo
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.75
Device Reviewed On: iPad mini (Retina)

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

simian.interface is Chillingo’s new spatial arcade puzzler that invites players to take part in solving a variety of different visual puzzles. With no time limit and no specific rules, pattern recognition, intuition, and experimentation is absolutely key here.

photo 5Originally starting out its life on the web, the aim in simian.interface is to use one’s logic in order to figure out the visual “focus” of each puzzle. Gradually hacking their way through a computer system, players proceed through a series of loaded “programs” that present themselves as a mash-up of shapes and spectrum-style puzzles that have one simple, but often non-obvious, solution.

I can’t quite put into words how I feel about simian.interface. On the one hand, its a gorgeously designed and unique take that is far different than anything I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing in recent months. It’s retro beat soundtrack feels solid and worthy, while its choice between either tilt or touch-based gameplay has been thought out to the very last detail. For example, tilting in the wrong direction for too long will see the game alert one that they have ‘lost’ the focus of the puzzle. This should act as an indicator that one may want try a different method in order to solve it.

photo 2On the other hand though, I have to say that I was quite dismayed at the length of gameplay that players will likely be faced with in simian.interface. I personally was able to reach the credits screen within the space of just 20-minutes. Granted, there are hidden levels along the way that will extend this, somewhat, but I just felt it was all over just a little too quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the game – I just felt simian.interface could benefit from some additional content. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind paying for this extra content if it meant a longer play experience.

Overall, simian.interface is a well designed game that will have players tossing and tilting their iOS device to the extremes in order to solve its myriad of visual delights. It’s definitely good for killing that spare half hour, but I wouldn’t go into it expecting much else.

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