My gaming preferences on my phone lean towards casual games — the kind of thing you can pop into for a few minutes while waiting for something else to happen. I’m a fan of things like Solitaire and Sudoku but I’m always looking for different ways to entertain myself during these waiting times.
One game that I’ve been happily wasting time with recently is ColorPhyll (get it here). The concept is simple: the board is created using blocks in six colors, plus black. Your job is to clear the board in a certain number of steps by choosing a color. Any sets of blocks that touch the black blocks are cleared from the board.
What attracts me to this game? Simple game play for one, and there’s no complicated learning curve to get going in it so it’s really good for this kind of casual “in and out” type of game usage. I happen to really like the fact that there’s no timer, no leaderboard, no top score or “score to beat” — it’s not really a competition style game, it’s really a form of solitaire that isn’t card based. It doesn’t matter if you put the app in the background for a few minutes or come back to it hours later.
It’s also a nice game in that you have to think through your strategy, but it isn’t a game that forces you to focus on it or concentrate — like a card-based solitaire, it’s easy to pop in and play part of a game, pop back out and do something else, then pop back in again later and pick it up where you left off. Not all games lend themselves to that.
The strategy isn’t overly complex, but the proper move is many times not the obvious one. The levels are designed so that you are likely going to finish one or two moves before the deadline — or one or two after.
This probably isn’t a good game if you’re a seriously competitive, “gotta do this in fewer moves, gotta beat the clock” type, but if you’re looking for a nice, well-thought out casual game to spend some time with, I think you’ll really like it. It’s challenging enough to keep you interested, but doesn’t require you to sit down and focus on it.
The implementation is clean and the graphics are simple but everything works well together. The only weakness to the game is that the levels are all manually designed and baked into the game, so over time you’ll get familiar with them — but there’s plenty of game play for the price, and hopefully the developer will update the game with new levels over time.
Overall, highly recommended.