Developer: Josh Presseisen
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.01
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Relaxing color-matching games are a weakness of mine. They are simple on the surface, but the challenges that these games present help to keep the mind sharp. Zen Training looks like just another color-matching game on the surface, but it has its own unique gameplay style to make it stand out from the rest.

It’s not hard to learn how to play Zen Training. The goal is to spin a beautiful tree around in order to match five falling colorful gems to the appropriate five stones at the bottom of the tree. These stones and gems must be matched in order to create order and harmony. Players earn points for successful matches, but missing too many causes the day to turn into a dreary night and players eventually lose the game.

Successful matches results in leveling up and also provides gamers with the chance to play bonus levels. These bonus levels differ each time and can range from spinning the tree as many times as possible in a specific amount of time to stabilizing the falling gems. Of course, leveling up also means that the game gets harder. More symbol gems fall from the sky at one time, the gems start to become unbalanced and the speed at which they fall increases. While challenging, the frantic gameplay means that Zen Training is not so peaceful after all.

The gameplay is quite addicting and the soothing soundtrack helps set the tone at first, but players may eventually lose interest. I found myself bored after awhile because the game does get repetitive. More game modes, additional stones and gems, different backgrounds and even a way to include iPod music into the game would help spice things up a bit.

Hopefully an update makes Zen Training more exciting. It does have a lot of potential, but it appears that maybe it was released too soon. Anyone dying to spend $0.99 on a simple color matching game may want to consider it, but most gamers may wish to wait for a few improvements before committing to a purchase.

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