The core concept behind many iOS puzzle games is something we’ve seen before. Whether it’s a match three or a word jumble, there is a lot of familiar ideas out there. Truly great games are able to take these ideas and expand on them. They mix in brand new concepts and create a game that is unique and exciting. The newest game from unexpected3rd, Singularity, is a tried and true concept that I think we’ve all seen in other games. The question is; does Singularity expand upon its premise enough to be considered great?
The puzzles in Singularity consist of any number of colored squares. The object of the game is to make all the squares share the same color. Every time a tile changes its color, all the tile that share a border with it will also change. This simple premise can prove quite tricky when the number of squares increases and the patterns become more intricate, but Singularity doesn’t stop there. Each chapter introduces a new gameplay element that completely alters the way you play the game. These new abilities do everything from changing far away tiles to changing the structure of the entire board. In the more challenging levels, multiple tile types are mixed and matched, which makes for some truly tricky boards.
Like many other iOS puzzle games, Singularity makes use of a minimalistic esthetic. Each level is usually comprised of only a few complimentary shades that change with each chapter. A gentle guitar track accompanies the menus, while the puzzles themselves are largely silent. The only sounds are notes and chords that accompany each tile’s transformation.
This game is exceedingly easy to control. Simply tap on any tile you want to change, and all the effected tiles will change colors. There are no other input commands and the detection is very good. I never once made a move unintentionally.
Pacing is always a problem in puzzle games. New mechanics need to be introduced to keep things fresh, but players need time to acclimate to new ways of interacting with the environment. This leads to frequent dips in difficulty while the game debuts each additional element. Singularity does not avoid this, but each chapter has a healthy amount of levels afterward that are much harder to complete.
Singularity is a well crafted game with just the right amount of difficulty to make it addictive. Its major fault exists outside of gameplay and instead hinges on the advertisements contained in the app, which we’ll get into in just a moment.
Singularity is available as a free, ad supported, download. The ads take the form of banners that line the bottom of each level, as well as the occasional full screen advertisement. The screen covering adverts pop up every few stages and can also show up when the player taps the retry button. It’s a bit strange, but there is no way to remove the ads. The only in-app purchase is a pack of 30 additional hints for $0.99.
This game is a fun diversion and a great time waster. The gameplay constantly builds on a simple concept, and it ramps up its difficulty with each new element. Singularity is engaging in all the ways a puzzle game should be. The only problem for some would be the inability to disable ads. The developer said that there would be an update that would improve the game’s overall quality, but that has yet to materialize. If you generally avoid ad heavy games, then I recommend you wait until we see what this update may be about. Otherwise, you should definitely give this game a try.
This game reminds me, ever so slightly, of the fantastic Block Block Block.