Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini Retina
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It looks like a fairly cute puzzle game but Zoombinis is much more than that, actually offering up a series of logical and mathematical puzzles to tax your gray matter. It’s a remake of a 1990s puzzle game, Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, but old and new players should quite appreciate it - even if it does look a little old fashioned.
You’re helping a series of small blue creatures as they attempt to reach the safety of Zoombiniville. This involves completing 12 tricky puzzles. The unique twist to Zoombinis is that you choose how your creatures look and what accessories they possess, and that actually affects what unfolds.
Many of the puzzles rely on identifying patterns and using deductive reasoning, and the clothing the creatures wears affect that. An early puzzle has you trying to guide your Zoombinis across a chasm. There are two bridges but these can reject your creatures depending on certain rules. You have to figure out the connection before you run out of time and the remaining Zoombinis are trapped. Other stages have you making a pizza with the current toppings on to appease a troll, or work out how to circumvent a series of guards.
It’s surprisingly tricky stuff at times, but also quite enjoyable to figure out. You’ll soon be quite attached to these Lemming esque critters. It’s also the ideal way to teach kids how to spot patterns and improve their problem solving skills, without them even realising.
Zoombinis does look a little dated, though. While it’s quite colorful, its origins as a PC game of old are quite clear to see. Its aesthetic doesn’t really tie into the style of iPad games of today. It can also be somewhat awkward to find the hot spots in which your creatures can run to. Look past that though and expect to be challenged for a while to come.