App Reviewed on: iPad 3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
There is a new favorite application in our house that I am quite eager to let readers know all about - Winky Think Logic Puzzles from Spinlight Studio. This app, as the name may suggest, consists of logic puzzles that both children as well as adults and all ages in between will enjoy. At 180 levels, this application truly includes hours of activities ranging from those simple and straightforward to complex and difficult tasks even for adults.
Winky Think starts out easy enough, with players needing to slide a blue pentagram into a related cutout marked with a smaller gem of the same color and shape. In the next level, things build a bit as now children are asked to slide a red pentagram into a corresponding open spot, now choosing this correct over other colored gems also seen on the board. Soon other shapes are included to color-match as simple maze-like areas of the puzzle are added that one needs to navigate. This app begins slowly for the benefit of young users, but I found these levels utterly engaging as an adult with its dynamic use of jewel colors popping against the grey background, made up with a subtle mix of different shades of warm, bright greys instead of the bleak, stagnant color that a lesser developer may have chosen to use.
It is within these first boards that the cynic may chalk this app up to basic color and shape matching - an attitude that will cause one to miss out on something grand. This app, building on the experiences players have gained while playing these numerous levels in the past, will soon enough begin to feel the weight of these logic puzzles. When at full speed, Winky Think Logic Puzzles at times becomes the ultimate slider puzzle, as multiple pieces will need to be moved around the board to allow for key pieces to be moved into their slots, each turning green at completion - yet another stylized touch within this thoughtfully designed application.
Other elements included are the ability to experience these gems on chains that stretch to their intended target instead of being slid, making these boards remind me of hands-on installations at a children’s museums or on the walls of a well-funded children’s library. The mazes become more complex as well, and begin to include red walls that one cannot touch without needing to start over, bringing the game Operation to mind as one needs good hand/eye control to work around these traps. I do enjoy the metal bits incorporated here that may also need to be slid or otherwise manipulated sometimes with the press of button, giving this app a Victorian parlor game appeal that I am quite a fan of.
Color matching remains a strong theme throughout and soon children will have the chance to change the color of the pieces they are working on, be it using one of these objects to press here a hue-changing button or comparable pinball-like bumpers that add a kinetic spin to these puzzles. Boundaries are implemented, seen as colored lines across areas of the board, where the gem must be the related color to cross. Players will also need to negotiate flat glass enclosures by sliding or knocking objects under these obstructions, ultimately to land gems into their related areas. Do expect from games, as complex at times as these, to need to make a series of moves in the correct sequence for success, which may not happen on the first or second try.
One of the most impressive aspects of Winky Think Logic Puzzles is the tactile feel as one works in the touch screen of their iPad, as, oftentimes, resistance can be felt as one manipulates these pieces. I am at a loss as to how this is accomplished, and I do wonder if this is a tangible difference somehow programmed or more of an optical illusion brought on with the use of shadows that these pieces seem to throw. It impresses me how far my now seven year old son has gone within these levels, still working his way to the end because, at certain points, one does not only need two hands to play, but good dexterity within multiple fingers as well, nicely allowing two players to work together if they feel the need. To this point, I have thought of asking for a hand with some boards as well.
I did find the last five or so levels somewhat difficult, often a question of perfect timing as one contends with moving parts and other issues not quite logic-related that make me pine for a walk-through of this game to see if winning these sections is truly possible. Having completed this game, I am quite fond of how these levels, although definitely becoming more challenging over time, are often intercut with sections that give players a much needed break from needing ninja-like reflexes, as other skills like the aforementioned dexterity are tested instead which I am fond of, mitigating the frustration that I did feel after repeatedly hitting a moving red barrier - my nemesis for a certain level near the end of this app.
These levels are broken down into three levels of difficulty and when these levels, each including 60 puzzles, are completed, the player is awarded with a moment of celebration and a trophy for their hard work. It would have been nice, however, to reward players with a little bit more than this trophy when all levels are accomplished as this app seems incomplete in some way by not including a conclusion of some sort after spending hours working on these puzzles. I do, however, appreciate the chance to search for a specific puzzle as a small thumbnail image can be seen when selecting a level. Also of note is the terrific upbeat yet relaxing background music provided - it's important as players may be listening to this score for long periods of time at a stretch. I also admire the choice not to include stars that one can receive based on how quickly one solves these puzzle. Likewise, there is not a sticker, badge, or avatar in sight that interferes with the enjoyment of this app and others like it where children truly need to be focused, but I would like for the small ad for other Spinlight Studio apps hidden away as I found these ads not only inappropriate in a children's app, but also taking away from the clean look of these game levels as well.
Despite that, I could not recommend Winky Think Logic Puzzles more, as this app is wonderful for many age groups, starting with preschool children who could solve the first puzzles yet will need to grow into many of the other boards that this app includes. An app that would entertain teens and adults as well,Winky Think Logic Puzzles will truly serve an entire family well. I do wish there was a way of overriding the locked nature of these levels, as I can think of a few puzzles near the end of the game I did not think I was going to solve, nor would I want to try these levels again. I would hate to think players would come to such an impasse and not be able to complete this app as I almost did, but even with this issue, my son and I have thoroughly enjoyed solving the problems within Winky Think Logic Puzzles.