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Android App Review: Move It!

Move It! is one of the many sliding-block games out there on the market, and while it’s a successfully engaging puzzle app, it doesn’t do things quite as well as some of the others.

Move it! proudly proclaims that it’s a “fresh and exciting new block-sliding puzzle, not just Unblock me clone!” While I’m not going to disagree with their point, I feel like maybe it says something that they’re denying the accusations so strenuously before I’ve even had a chance to make them.

The puzzles are interesting, sitting somewhere between a traditional sliding-block puzzle and Tetris – you’re still shifting around the pieces to free one particular block, but now the pieces can move in any direction and come in a variety of different (Tetrisy) shapes. The puzzles come in a range of difficulties from Novice (a bit simple-minded if you’ve played any of these games before) to Expert (I don’t have time for this).

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed Unblock, a similar puzzle game that I loved and am still hugely addicted to. It’s always dangerous to compare something new with something you already like – the new thing almost always suffers from the comparison. In this case there’s things about Move It! that I don’t like almost entirely because I’m used to Unblock – the noise and movement of a tile sliding form one space to another isn’t as satisfying, for example, which would be fine if I didn’t have a classier version right here to compare it with.

Between the gaudy backgrounds and the overall design (and the exclamation mark in its title) Move It! has a cheap, plasticky feel, which the sluggish movement only reinforces. If this was a physical game you’d find it in a $2 shop, made by a company whose name you’d never seen before, and your child would break it within a week.

But the puzzles are interesting, nevertheless. And if you can get past the surface there’s some fun to be had here. Part of me feels like it’s a bit snobby to judge an app like this by its appearance, but another, larger part recognises that there are so many apps out there we can give our attention; why waste it on ugly ones when there are prettier ones that do the same job just as well?