Developer: BertoGames
Price: Free
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

In Sky Scramble, a sliding puzzle game developed by two mathematicians, players must reorder several constellations so that a lone Red Star can be set free from its incorrect orbit. This is done by dragging the constellations around the framework to create a path for the Red Star to navigate. However, the constellations must be in contact to switch places. It’s more difficult than it first appears to be, especially when it’s a case of the fewer the amount of moves, the better.

20130731-100018.jpg20130731-100238.jpgVisuals are simple but effective. The sweeping transitions between each stage provide a weightless feeling, until each level set has been completed and a full Hubble image is revealed. Whether players are astronomy enthusiasts or not, the images used as backdrops for the gameplay are incredible. The backing music is equally involving, adding to the floating feeling that the game successfully creates. The simplicity of the design may be an issue for some, but in my opinion it adds to the charm of the game. The worst thing a puzzle game can be is overly-complex in its appearance, and the developers behind Sky Scramble have obviously realized this.

Sky Scramble is a humble app: there are no impressive cutscenes or visual trickery, but it doesn’t matter. This is a unique and enjoyable puzzle game that provides enough of a challenge to keep players coming back for more, but enough of a visual experience to provide a therapeutic distraction from the basic game mechanic. It has achieved the wonderful balance of being both relaxing and challenging throughout each of its 90 free levels (198 after an optional in-app purchase). For astronomy fans in particular, this should be the new puzzle game of choice.

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