Zengrams is a mind-bending puzzle game for minimalists

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The art of the tangram puzzle dates back thousands of years. It comes from China and the goal is to form a particular shape out of a variety of pieces. It may sound simple, but the complexity of the pieces and their flexibility make tangrams a challenge for even the most seasoned players.

Zengrams combines the puzzle gaming of the ancient Chinese tangram with a paper crafting style of cutting shapes and rearranging them into new ones. You don’t have to force puzzle pieces into a particular shape, but you do have to know how to cut new ones.

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Players are given a number of pieces spread out on the game board. It could be two or four or even more. Players then drag a piece into the designated shape box. Shapes can overlap each other, but when they do, they create a new shape. So, if you have two triangles and you overlap them, you can create a quadrilateral and a couple of smaller triangles that can then be used to fit into a specific shape.

The original pieces are transparent and always specific colors. You might have two yellow and blue pieces. When you overlap them in a certain way, they create a third, green piece. Those pieces can then be fitted together into the designated shape.

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When you put two pieces together, they will create a new one. For example, two triangles make a square. When you overlap one piece on top of the other, it creates another new piece. For example, a square inside a very long rectangle will create a new colored square and two new rectangles. Continue cutting and connecting new pieces together until you have what you need. Then, place them all inside the outline to create the final shape.

As the levels progress, the game gets increasingly more difficult. The designated shapes become more complex and your need to cut and connect pieces becomes more complicated.

Oh, did I mention that you only have a limited number of moves to complete the tangram? You can’t just go slicing and placing pieces willy-nilly. You must complete each puzzle within the given number of moves, which is usually only four, but is sometimes less and sometimes more.

Zengrams is available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for $2.99. Download it in the App Store today.