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Android App Review: Blendoku

22 Jul 13

At first glance this game seems almost insultingly simple...

You have a line of five squares, with yellow at one end and red at the other, with three different shades of orange to put between them, so that you get a nice gradient of colour.

Pretty straightforward, assuming you’re not colour-blind (and if that sounds like I’m trying to be funny, I’m not – this game really isn’t any good for people who are colour-blind. Sorry).

Gradually the puzzles get more difficult, and it gets more interesting when another dimension is added. Soon you’ve got two intersecting lines to blend – one going from blue to purple, say, that crosses another going from green to grey.

Later puzzles are arranged in cubes or pyramids, and you have to think a little bit more. By the time you get to the later levels it starts to look like a lurid version of Snake (remember playing Snake on your old Nokia?), with brightly coloured lines crossing and re-crossing as they wander around the screen.

The early levels are pretty basic, and if you go through the whole of the ‘Easy’ category it’ll start to feel a bit repetitive. However, once you get to the ‘Hard’ setting the shapes are less regular, and the colours are more varied.

I’ll admit I skipped ahead to try these ones (you don’t need to complete earlier levels to unlock later ones) so maybe I’d have found it easier if I’d worked my way there. But for someone who found the beginning levels a bit too easy, the medium and hard ones provide more than enough challenge – I had to admit defeat on some of the later ones.

Because I’m in the business of making art and illustrations, there’s another aspect to Blendoku that I found interesting. Working out a selection of arresting but cohesive colours for a picture can be hard (especially if, like me, you tend to revert to the safety of black and white).

But each level of Blendoku presents you with a new palette of swatches that could be used in your work. Playing this game is a good way to learn colour theory, or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself as I waste my afternoons rearranging little coloured boxes.

The game is free, but offers you the option to buy extra levels from its store. It also has ads across the top that will be removed by and of these purchases, although I didn’t find them particularly intrusive.

Overall this is a pretty fun game. The highest compliment I can give it is to tell you that I struggled to write this revue – every time I sat down to play Blendoku for “research” I quickly got caught up in playing rather than writing about it. It’s a time-waster, but a good one.

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